One of the goals I have had for some time is to build an internship program into my church. I’m not exactly sure what this will look like, how we will do it, or when I will be able to do it, but I am convinced of the necessity and benefits. Here are 5 reasons pastors should consider building an internship program into their churches.
1- It is a way to train and invest in the next generation of church leaders.
This is by far the most important reason. If we only invest in our generation the church will not survive beyond us. Investing in the next generation of church leaders communicates that we care about the impact of our churches beyond just the here and now. It is a way for churches to maximize their impact.
2- It is a way to gain insights on your current ministry from a fresh set of eyes.
There is always the danger of only looking at your ministry through the same set of eyes. Over time weak areas of ministry get overlooked. Things that may need addressing are excused due to the fact that they have been accepted as normal. By bringing an intern on staff, you are able to learn from a new perspective. This can be a huge benefit.
3- It is a way to find potential staff members.
Finding and hiring staff is always a challenge. Having an internship program within your church is a way to find potential staff in a way that allows you to learn about them, see their potential, and see them in action. It is not uncommon for an intern to become permanent staff.
4- It is a way to help people discover God’s specific calling for their lives.
There may be people who come to do an internship at your church who know God wants them in ministry, but they are unsure about what aspect of ministry. An internship gives them the opportunity to learn about different aspects of ministry, get involved in various ministries, and discover in what area of ministry they are gifted and passionate.
5- It is a way to get help in certain areas of your ministry that may be weak.
Growing churches can always use help. There is always an aspect of ministry that can use more attention, more planning, and more workers. Having an internship program in your church is a way, in part, to get immediate help in certain areas of ministry. Obviously this may not be a long-term solution, but it can provide some immediate help.
An internship program may not be right for every church, but I do think it provides benefits that most churches can experience.
Does it take work? Yes.
Are there challenges? Yes.
Does it take a financial investment? Yes.
Can it further God’s kingdom? Most definitely.