Local Church Internships Benefit Church Planters
“You don’t need to be in a hurry!” or “Don’t rush the preparation process!” I’ve made these statements, or ones like them, to younger potential church planters many times. Why? Often, they have great intentions of getting out there to fulfill the Great Commission. They can’t wait to get to some real ministry and reach the masses with the gospel. Those are very good intentions, but are they ready? One of the foundational concepts of church planting is being able to answer that question on readiness. Have they developed the kind of character and perseverance required to be faithful in ministry over the long haul? Are they ready to endure and persevere in the face of difficulties, as well as the mundane, everyday tasks of life and ministry? Are they teachable? Do they know how to wait on God in relationship with others?
One venue where those questions can be asked and answered is in the context of a local church internship. Here are some benefits of preparing to plant through a local church internship:
1. Robust Content—It’s an opportunity to walk through key books of the Bible (like the Timothy’s and Titus) over time and discuss how they’re fleshed out in the context of the local church. When some key discussions on some key books are added, key ingredients are starting to come together for a good preparation process.
2. The Common Joy & Struggle—Being part of an internship process creates a dynamic where guys are experiencing the joys and challenges of life, ministry and preparation together. Being on the journey with others is almost always better than going it alone.
3. The Seasoning Process—One of my favorite shows is “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.” The best food is often key ingredients mixed with the right spices. It’s the seasoning process that really brings it all together and that often takes some time. Jesus said, “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). An internship process takes time and provides the opportunity for many spicy conversations, where people can speak into each other’s lives.
4. Team Formation—Often, the other thing that happens in the course of an internship process is the development of teams and clearer ministry direction. Leaders and interns develop a better idea of “best fit” for ministry roles and responsibilities. In addition, a better sense of which interns could have good team chemistry develops.
If you could see yourself involved in church planting down the road, let me challenge you to consider becoming part of an existing internship or to help get one started. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have comments or questions.