New pastor welcomed to United Methodist Church

From a college campus to small town North Dakota, Pastor Paul Lint and his family feel right at home in Hettinger.


New pastor at United Methodist Church in Hettinger, Paul Lint.

Posted August 30, 2012


Record Editor


From a college campus to small town North Dakota, Pastor Paul Lint and his family feel right at home in Hettinger.

“I was the United Methodist Campus minister at USD prior to coming here,” he said. “It is totally different but I am looking forward to the challenges.”

Lint did a lot of counseling while he was on the campus, and he said he enjoyed helping the youth he ministered get through the transition from home to college life.

While giving a sermon every Sunday is more a more “traditional” job, he looks forward to the working with youth in the congregation as well as the adults.

“My wife, Brenda, and I both have a passion for youth ministry,” he said.

The cabinet at UMC, the governing board of the church that makes the job placements between churches and ministers, saw a good fit between the church members in Hettinger and the Lints, and they were ready for the change.

“We came for a visit and fell in love with the community before we even said yes,” he laughed. Lint said he is impressed with the willingness and ease with which the churches in town work together.

The couple has three children, Micah (fifth grader), Gideon (third grade) and Shanara (first grade) who like the freedom of the smaller town.

Being a “Pastor’s kid” himself, Lint said he knew pretty early on this was what he wanted to do.

He looks forward to ministering to the older generation again, a gap he faced while on campus.

“One of my strongest relationships was with my grandfather. His view of the day’s events was so different from mine,” he said. “Both of my parents were pastors, and as such I spent lots of time visiting nursing homes, and talking to older people.”

If one of his parishioners is thinking of joining the military, for instance, he can put him in touch with someone who’s served in the Army, a new relationship is forged and questions can get answered.

“This generation seems eager for something that is real and genuine – something they can understand,” he said.

Lint said he believes many are in any community looking for a feeling of belonging to a family.

Extended families are becoming a thing of past as children move away from their roots, usually to find work.

“The church can offer a genuine community. In a world that is turning more and more to a virtual world, like face book, texting and emailing as their main means of communicating with others, it makes them vulnerable,” he said.

Lint is not against texting, face book or cell phones, but sees them as tools to use instead of being the end in itself.

“People who are on face book and the like all the time are searching for self-validation – ‘Yes, I’m here’ type of thing,” he said.

“Part of the joy of working with in the ministry is sharing with people that life isn’t always so rosy.

But, because we believe, and have faith, we have the courage to face the next no-so-perfect day,” he said. “We have to look at life as more ‘What can I do to help someone else?’ than ‘This is a bad day,’”

To walk with people in their daily struggle and help them – but be an important part of their journey, and being there “…is a reminder that “God’s love is there and there is always hope,” he said.

United Methodist Church parishioners will see Lint Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Beginning Sept. 9, Sunday school will start at 8:45 a.m.