WHERE TO BEGIN
9Marks: Starting with day one of your pastorate at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, you didn't have an internship program. What little things did you start doing to help equip future pastors?
Mark Dever: Taking my sermon preparation very seriously; praying for evangelism and discipling; trying to model that by befriending non-Christians; sharing the gospel with them; befriending members of the church and trying to help them grow in Christ; watching who responds to my work, who picks up on the pattern, and who begins to reduplicate what I do with others; praying in particular for those brothers. That's a sign that that person should be an elder—whether or not they're paid.
Also, I took our inductive Bible study on Wednesday nights seriously. As soon as I got here, every Sunday night and Wednesday night I would try to give out a book—a good book—which slowly but surely seasons the congregation with good books. And some of those books, at least, get read. If nothing else, I'm familiarizing the whole congregation with names of authors that are trustworthy and that I think will help them; and they'll notice other names are absent.
In short, raising up future pastors is done through faithfully pastoring and discipling your church. For a lot of men, this may mean recovering what it simply means to pastor and disciple biblically. Internships programs and the like can be useful for equipping future leaders, but they are not necessary. And if you don't start with faithful pastoring and discipling, neither internships nor seminaries amount to much.