Baptist Bible Seminary student Matthew Tucker is working as a pastoral intern at Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia. The full-time, paid internship is a unique, practical experience built right into the seminary’s Master of Divinity program.
Tucker was drawn to the position because he enjoyed hearing the preaching of Senior Pastor Steve King and Associate Pastor Matt Gibert. This internship allows him to be in a healthy, growing church and have a hands-on learning experience. He says it has been a fantastic experience overall, as Cherrydale has encouraged his participation in numerous opportunities. He plans and executes a refugee outreach, develops and teaches a singleness and dating class, teaches a performing arts program for the kid’s club and preaches on Sunday mornings. He appreciates the opportunity to observe elder meetings, gaining insight as they go through a transitional period with the senior pastor.
Tucker is also a living history interpreter at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. He has given public presentations and demonstrations of the Gutenberg Press and its impact on the Bible and civilization at the museum. There he also plays a first-century Jewish builder named Eli in “The World of Jesus of Nazareth” at the museum. His role as Eli has provided a great ministry opportunity as he brings the Bible to life in its first-century context. He has been able to share how the physical world relates to spiritual teachings in the Scriptures.
God has given Tucker the opportunity to incorporate the arts and performing arts into his internship ministry. He uses his artistic experience in his current context by doing public readings of Scripture, preaching on Sunday mornings and through messages he presents at their kid’s club. He uses mediums such as drawing, coloring and story-telling to help the children better apply the message to their lives.
Tucker believes Baptist Bible Seminary best prepared him for his internship, and ultimately for his career, by providing him with a solid biblical foundation, especially the focus on biblical languages. Tucker says, “BBS gave me a great appreciation for exegesis, translation and interpretation, and I also appreciate the importance of being able to work with the biblical languages for myself. I believe everything else flows out of doing this properly!”
Through his internship, Tucker has faced over-commitment, which has helped him learn the importance of alone time with God and allowing time for rest. Tucker concluded, if he cannot obtain that time for God and rest, he “can’t give his best to God or His people.”
During the internship, he has also learned the beauty of diversity in God’s design. He is seeing how pastors, churches and ministries can take on many different forms but still serve the same ultimate purpose. Tucker has experienced the importance of building diversity within churches and ministries. He believes the most important thing we can do is “keep Jesus Christ first, and seek to learn and obey and share His Word.”
-Colleen Noll is a Communications-Writing major from Spring Brook Twp., Pennsylvania who plans to graduate in 2019.