I just finished the semester evaluations for all our Zion Bible College interns. It is hard to believe yet another school term is coming to a close. I love the time that I get to spend with each of our students throughout the year. Weekends without them at the church are simply not the same.
Personally I think every church should have interns. Maybe it is from a Bible college like Zion. Or, maybe it is something unofficial like a high-school student who is considering going into ministry, or an adult from the church who is considering a mid-life change of direction. Maybe it is just someone who wants to give more time serving. Whether it is an official internship, or not, I think every church should have someone they are mentoring.
For the mentoree it gives them the chance for someone to show them the ropes, and let them get their feet wet. It gives them the chance to learn from someone else’s successes and failures, so they don’t have to learn the hard way themselves. It gives them a realistic picture of pastoral ministry, and what life around the church is really like.
For the church it makes you think through what you truly believe about ministry, and summarize those lessons into teachable moments. Mentoring gives you the chance to work with students who add to the church’s ministry by bringing their God given talents and passions to the table. It gives you the chance to “interview” possible staff members over the course of months, and years, rather than over a short weekend. It gives you the chance to pass on what you believe about pastoral ministry to the next generation.
I think every church should have interns. There are just too many benefits to let the opportunity slip by.