Sometimes, some of the most important parts of a machine are some of the smallest. Propellers on a boat, the gas pedal in a car, and the interns in your church…
Although short-term in nature, internships have the ability to leave a lifelong and eternal impact on your church’s ministry. However, you have to do a few things to take the opportunity. You need to hire interns. You need to have an open mind to how they could benefit and change your ministry. You need to be looking for ways to extend their reach.
Whether you already have internships and are looking for ways to intentionally utilize them, or you are considering adding internships for the first time, you can make moves this week to open doors to interns in your ministry for the sake of your greater mission.
1. Youthful perspectives
After years of pursuing the same mission and repeating some of the same processes, rust starts to form on the well-oiled machine that is your church. Having internships ensures that you have fresh eyes and perspectives to give you honest feedback on the behind-the-scenes of your church. Continually welcoming outsiders into the gears of your church creates opportunities to notice unique areas for improvement. These ideas can be difficult to come up with or identify for those who have grown all too familiar with the ins and outs of the church. Welcome interns into your church, be vulnerable with them, and embrace chances to receive constructive criticism! This is how your church grows.
2. Gain invested full-time employees
If the intern is a good fit in your church, you may have just found a long-term ally in your ministry. Hold on to those people! Church interns often view these summer internships as opportunities to settle into a life of ministry in a church somewhere like yours. If you notice they fit in well with the beliefs, staff culture, and mission of your church, chances are, the intern has noticed it too. The intern wants to invest their time and life into something they believe in, just as you need people to come alongside your mission to support your ministry. Create and sustain internship opportunities in your church with hopeful expectations to create lasting relationships with eternal impact on your community.
3. Extra productivity
Interns come with a desire to make a great impact in a short time. You have the liberty of putting them to work with important projects that otherwise would be pushed aside. Interns can be the reason you start a new ministry, identify a need in the church, or how you achieve your standard of excellence. You can utilize the willing hands and freshly motivated minds interns have to surpass your goals as a church. Beyond any diligence expected of a new worker, internship positions themselves are perfectly designed to tackle meaningful, time-consuming projects. Interns provide unique opportunities to try new systems and procedures with open minds and low stakes. Maintain multiple internship openings in your church to designate extra hands to get things done.
4. Revitalize your culture
The young interns who you hire will naturally have a youthful presence that invites others in. No matter the personality or the role they fill, having young adults actively participating and investing in the church encourages the enthusiasm, positivity, and relatability that are often associated with youthfulness. Their presence indicates to kids and youth ministries that they have access to role models and mentors. Young adults bring with them head knowledge of pop culture, world views, and the latest social media app that can all be utilized to enrich connections and communication with your community. If you are looking for additional ways to evaluate and improve your church culture, check out our culture tool as a resource to serve your team today.
While the opportunity may seem obvious at this point, interns are possibly one of the most easily overlooked pieces of your church “machines.” In reality, if you approach internships with intentionality and wisdom, your pursuit of the interns is a ministry in itself. You do not want to miss out on the riches that overflow from a valued group of interns who know they have a place in your church and the power to make positive change.
If you have interns already, speak to them this week and tell them you are eager for their feedback on what they notice behind the curtain. If you do not have any internships in place right now, meet with your fellow church leaders to brainstorm what roles and projects you would like interns to take on.