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4 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2011 - 4:54PM #1
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
Our church has made the commitment to sponsor a pastoral intern in the coming year; we came into some unexpected money that will enable us to do so, and are hoping that we can leverage that into an ongoing opportunity for seminarians. Our synod is very supportive, and we know that a lot of seminary students would LOVE to spend their internship year in the same type of congregation where they'll probably wind up in during their first call. (Instead of the blingy affluent congos that usually sponsor interns.)

Any advice for us -- either as someone whose congregation sponsors/has sponsored interns or as someone who's been an intern?
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2011 - 10:10PM #2
WannabeTheo
Posts: 400

Mar 18, 2011 -- 4:54PM, tawonda wrote:



Any advice for us -- either as someone whose congregation sponsors/has sponsored interns or as someone who's been an intern?





Being near a seminary, we get a lot of 'contextual education' students, but we haven't hired an intern since I've been here.


As for advice, all that comes to mind is to make sure they get a variety of experience, especially visiting the sick and elderly, rather than just preaching and worship leading.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2011 - 4:18PM #3
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Just remember it is to be a learning year.  Interns are in no way prepared to take over pastoral leadership. 


I would say a good idea would be to have some planned learning experiences for the intern.  Look at some of the unique forms of ministry that might be overlooked. 


Have a support group for the intern--so s/he can react to real people about what s/he is learning.


One big item--be sure to invite the intern to family gatherings.  On my internship I was far from home and did not have any place to go for Thanksgiving and Easter.  Thanksgiving I spent with a bachelor vetrinarian as he made calls.  Easter I did a quick road trip around southern Minnesota.  Don't assume someone will invite the intern.  Make it happen.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 8:17AM #4
teilhard
Posts: 51,416

Long long ago in MY Day too many Congregations "got an 'Intern'" as a cheap and easy Staffing Solution, esp. in "Youth Ministry" ... That Arrangement cheated the Youth, the Intern, and the Congregation all around ...


I don't think such an Error is made as commonly these Days, but I don't have Data ...

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 7:46PM #5
caelum
Posts: 2

I serve on the intern committee at my church, which supports and gives feedback to our intern.  First of all, be their friend.  This is most likely going to be a 20-something who is away from home, coming into a church in which they don't know anyone's name or how to get around town.  Email them ahead of time and find out what they like to do and what their favorite food is.  Then, on moving day, help them move into their apartment and give them a 'welcome packet' that lists places around town to shop for groceries, restaurants that have food they like, the location of an auto repair shop, dry cleaners, etc.


Next, introduce them to people.  They suddenly have to meet 150 new parishioners and they will be overwhelmed by all the names and faces.  They may be too intimidated to go around introducing themselves on their own.


All them to use their year at your church to 'try things out'.  This is where they can experiment and make mistakes before they reach their first call.  Give them time to find their style, their groove, their identity.  It's okay if they're not perfect.  That's why they are doing an internship!

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2011 - 10:47PM #6
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Good advice. (I should point out that our church is in an unincorporated little community with a grand total of three churches, one post office, one grocery store and one restaurant...so if our intern is going to dive right into a missional lifestyle, his/her Welcome Wagon packet will be a lot thinner than some of the rest of yours.;-))

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2011 - 1:32PM #7
teilhard
Posts: 51,416

Yes ... Again ...


"Internship" isn't meant to be an Inexpensive Staffing Arrangement for a scrambling Congregation ... It is meant to be an Opportunity for a Pastor-in-Training to LEARN and further Discern her/his Call ...


Mar 20, 2011 -- 7:46PM, caelum wrote:


I serve on the intern committee at my church, which supports and gives feedback to our intern.  First of all, be their friend.  This is most likely going to be a 20-something who is away from home, coming into a church in which they don't know anyone's name or how to get around town.  Email them ahead of time and find out what they like to do and what their favorite food is.  Then, on moving day, help them move into their apartment and give them a 'welcome packet' that lists places around town to shop for groceries, restaurants that have food they like, the location of an auto repair shop, dry cleaners, etc.


Next, introduce them to people.  They suddenly have to meet 150 new parishioners and they will be overwhelmed by all the names and faces.  They may be too intimidated to go around introducing themselves on their own.


All them to use their year at your church to 'try things out'.  This is where they can experiment and make mistakes before they reach their first call.  Give them time to find their style, their groove, their identity.  It's okay if they're not perfect.  That's why they are doing an internship!





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