Monthly Archives: June 2016

My Intern Starts Today…What Do I Do?

Today is the day conceptional words on white board

Today is the day conceptional words on white board

The intern’s first day.  It’s been on your calendar for months now.  Almost blinking at you with red, neon lights.  What will I have him/her do for the whole summer?  How much is too much?  What if I tell them all I know in the first day and then having nothing else to share?

With anything, it is good to have a plan.  Internships should provide on-job training for a future occupation.  What type of training will you provide?  Internships aren’t like what you see on the movies where you just have them take in your dry cleaning, pick up donuts & coffee, and answer all your phone calls.  A church internship probably does not want to resemble the “Devil Wears Prada”.  It should be more like “The Youth Pastor Wears Old Nike’s”.

Here’s a basic plan for your youth intern:

  • Early Communication. Stay in touch with the intern from the time you offer the position to the time it starts.  Begin to attach them in youth leader email updates.  See how they are doing.  Pray together.  Let them know the “dress code” of the office.  Fill them in on details they are wondering like weekly pay, lunches, and office hours.
  • 1st Day – “Orientation”. Provide the intern with a basic schedule.  Review the tasks that will be required.  Take time for questions and concerns.  Give a tour of the building.  Show them how to use the copier, fill out reimbursement slips, and how to not set off the alarm in the morning.
  • Schedule. Use Google calendar, or something similar, and allow this to be a collaborative effort.  Invite secretaries, other staff, and the intern to join the online calendar.  Put on the calendar major church events, service times, days off, and meeting times.  This provides a great structure for the internship experience and expectations from the beginning of what the schedule will look like.
  • Task List. Separate this into 3 categories.  Daily tasks, Weekly Tasks, & Visionary Tasks.
    • Daily Tasks – one-on-one meetings, , journal & reading. In the beginning, have them journal every 30 minutes of their work day.  Then broaden it to an everyday journal.  Provide 5-10 books that will promote growth in their ministry growth.  Examples include “The Seven Checkpoints” (Stanley), “The Greenhouse Project” (Walker/Calhoun), “Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry” (Fields).
    • Weekly Tasks – staff meetings, discussion questions, lesson preparation and execution, hospital/visitation, student discipleship
    • Visionary Tasks – Big event planning, camp/mission trip participation, parent meeting preparation, youth leader preparation, children’s ministry administration
  • Must-Haves.
    • Include a big event planning somewhere in the process – promotion, execution, even hosting, and clean-up. Experience with planning a larger event with you guiding the process will be a tremendous help.
    • Exposure to wide range of age groups. While youth ministry is often focused on teens, many churches require youth pastors to have experience teaching different age groups.  This means teaching children and even preaching to adults may be good to add to your task list.
    • Journaling – this is a good exercise for the intern to reflect on their experience each day. The journal will reiterate lessons that will save them from heartache later in their ministry down the road.
    • Teaching Opportunities. Take time to say “this is why we do this”.  Ask questions that begin with “why do you think I would” or “what would you do if…”.  Keep the training ongoing even in conversation.hellomynameisintern

This is a good start for your internship experience.  If you implement this model for your intern, it should provide them with great training and experience for their next phase in ministry.  Hoping this will allow them to walk away more excited about how God can use them in mighty ways serving Him.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

What I Learned on a Student Mission Trip to NYC

wol-logo-fullThis past week, I had the joy of leading a group of students to a mission trip to New York.  The beginning of the week was filled with hard work on the Word of Life Bible Institute Campus and Word of Life camps.  We mowed acres of land, and painted about a dozen cabins.  It was a full couple days of work.  Then, we took off for New York City to share the Gospel on the streets.  Here’s what I learned from this precious week of ministry…

No “I Can’t”.  We could have easily made this entire trip a week of work.  Painting, cleaning, and serving at the camp would have been a blessing to both our team and the camp.  We would have been physically stretched for sure, but these students needed something more.  This was a step of faith, and for some a terrifying step.  But they did it!  They shared their faith with complete strangers, handed out tracts to people passing by, and prayed with people who needed answers.  I saw fear change to boldness.  A boldness I hope will carry on to bring the Gospel here…and reach this city for Christ.

People Need the Lord.  Sorry for putting that famous Steve Green song in your head for the rest of the day, but it’s true.  There are people who are searching for something bigger, searching for hope, searching for joy, searching for forgiveness…and the list goes on.  And the Gospel can provide all these things.  God has provided a way of hope, joy, forgiveness and assurance of eternal life.  And people need this and many want to hear about it.GPS NYC tshirt design

God Controls The Weather.  I remember looking at the weather for our trip and seeing many days with rain in the forecast.  With good weather being of utmost importance, I just had to pray that God would work it all out.  Well, would you believe that it only rained when we were not doing ministry?  That’s right, it rained at breakfast one day, and on the days of travel.  Incredible!  God is truly in control.

I’m ashamed that I’m ashamed.  Why am I not sharing the sweet good news of the Gospel more?  Am I ashamed of the Gospel?  Am I too lazy?  Am I too busy?  If I’m honest with myself, it is probably a combination of the three.  There’s no reason why I cannot have more Gospel conversations.  It shouldn’t take 1500 miles of travel for me to be motivated to daily focus on sharing the Good News.  While I have the privilege of sharing Jesus regularly as a pastor, I fall way short of the faithful witness God wants me to be.

I love my “job”.  You may think I’m crazy for taking 7 teenagers into New York City (by the way, my wife was with us and she is amazing, and I brought another leader who was incredible on the trip as well).  Who would spend a week of their summer driving nearly 25 hours, staying up late, mustering up energy to get teens up (and yourself up), sleeping on cot mattresses on the floor…I LOVED IT ALL!  These teenagers bring me joy.  I get to see them share their hearts, help others, grow closer to God, encourage each other, fight through fears and frustrations, and come home changed.  I’m so very blessed to this for a living.

imagesSo for those that debate on doing short-term mission trips…do it.  Do it to find life-changing results.  Do it to change the culture of your youth ministry.  Do it to help spread the Gospel and the love of Jesus.  Do it because there is no lesson, program, or event you can design that does what these trips do.  The teens that got on that bus or van at the beginning of the week will be different when they step off that bus or van at the end of the week.  Go and make disciples of all nations!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,