This week our church had our four summer interns arrive. We’re privileged to be near both a seminary and a Bible college, so we always have interns coming and going, but I especially love when the summer interns show up. What makes our summer interns extra special is that they are full-time, which means they are able to see nearly everything that goes on behind the scenes. It is an amazing time of mentoring and growing for every student that is able to participate. But how exactly do we set the summer up so that every intern is able to learn as much as possible?
First, we have a formal application process. We are only able to take on four paid summer interns, despite the fact that we always have far more apply. To help us decide who gets to spend the summer with us, we have them fill out a preliminary application that asks them about their ministry goals, where they are at in life, and where they see God leading them. We only allow individuals who are pursuing full-time vocational ministry to be a part of our summer intern ministry. (To see the application that we use feel free to check out https://lccc.wufoo.com/forms/calvary-christian-church-internship-application/.)
Many pastors steer clear of teaching on giving as they don’t want the churches they serve to appear to be all about money. The Bible has much to say about our stewardship, however, and to ignore this teaching would be to ignore a large portion of what scripture has to say. So how does a church teach on money without turning people off? Here is how my church addresses this topic of giving:
Yearly Tithing Message – Every January we do a “Month of Personal Commitment.” We preach and teach on a commitment to prayer, reading the Bible, ministry service, and giving. This annual message on tithing is an opportunity for the whole church to hear about the importance of honoring God with their finances. This one message is enough to teach and remind people about the importance of giving, but not enough overwhelm them or turn them off.
Most churches do not strategically think about who they are inviting to church. They have service every Sunday with the hope and expectation that new people will come, but they don’t put much (if any!) thought into who they are going to invite throughout the week. Obviously, churches should be inviting everyone to join them, but who specifically should churches strategically be thinking about inviting?
- Friends and relatives who do not attend church. People should hear often about the importance of inviting their family, friends, coworkers, and other to church.
Many churches are canceling their Sunday night services. Citing low attendance, not wanting people to be out multiple nights a week and other reasons, many churches are opting to forgo the once central Sunday evening service. At Calvary, we’ve made the opposite decision. Rather than getting rid of Sunday night, we’re keeping our Sunday evening service as an integral part of the life of our church. There are lots of things that we do on Sunday nights that makes these services some of my favorite, but my favorite favorite Sunday night service is the monthly New Life Sunday Night.
Typically on the last Sunday night of the month, we do a New Life Sunday Night service. On these nights we celebrate new life in the church by dedicating babies, receiving new members, baptizing new believers and more.