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Church Internships

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Internships don’t have to be exclusive to the business world. Discover ways you can develop an internship program in your ministry.

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Guest: Rev. Jeff Cloeter is an author and a parish pastor in St. Louis, Missouri. He’s a sixth-generation pastor whose ministry has also included camps, youth ministry, and church planting.

Introduction: Internships don’t have to be exclusive to the business world. Discover ways you can develop an internship program in your ministry.

Summary:

  • An established internship program—intentional leadership development—is appropriate for churches and ministries of any size
  • One picture of a church internship program
    • Individuals who report to a different staff person or mentor
      • Youth ministry
      • Children and family ministry
      • African ministry (2 interns here)
      • City-campus ministry
    • Interns meet with pastor monthly
    • Church pays them a stipend
    • Church wants to foster a culture of replication and empowerment
      • Value the individual
      • Invest in each one as a person
    • Goals for the program
      • Grow each intern as a person, not simply to create a future employee
      • Have a “farm-league” in place; a chance to do ministry
      • “Send” them—to be significant parts of a church wherever they go
      • Give them a picture of ministry, possibly to be in ministry full-time
    • Age range is arbitrary—could even be a younger child or an adult—less about age than interest in the role
    • How to get started, pilot a program
      • Use established “institutional” interns
      • Try summer youth interns, get help with specific events
      • Start with one position and grow into more positions
    • Tips and cautions
      • Start simply
      • Identify the right people
      • Be clear on expectations and then follow up
      • Communicate regularly
      • Include specific tasks AND spiritual growth
      • Watch for God to work: what will you learn from the interns?
      • Begin now—don’t wait!

Resources:

  • The Bible, especially the gospels, the epistles
  • Look for churches in your area who might have resources
  • Younglife
  • InterVarsity

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