At the request of several of you, here is a follow-up post that explains a typical week for a pastoral intern at our church. An important detail to mention is that we have a maximum of 2 pastoral interns every four months because that is the most I feel I can appropriately work with at a time (since I am the main pastor working with them on a week to week basis). Because this is not a paid position, but 10 hours of work is expected, we are very flexible with this template and how those hours are accomplished:
– A mid-week one hour meeting with me to discuss anything from the assigned books, the goals they have set (3 goals: personal, family, interpersonal), the progress made on them, the pastoral project assigned to them for the internship (visiting widows, shut-ins, parents with young children, discipling certain kinds of men, etc.), how each of those meetings went, and other “outside the box” pastoral matters that come up on a week to week basis.
– Several phone and email conversations throughout the week to provide accountability that the tasks at hand are being fulfilled in a timely manner. This also allows me to be available for them in the event they have a difficult matter they face in one of their visits. I have been known to go visit with them the first few times with folks if I feel it necessary.
– Faithfully praying through the prayer guide and contacting those who were prayed for that day. For more on this, see this previous post.
– Roles in leading the Sunday morning and evening services.
– Service review is required, which is a one hour meeting following the Sunday evening service to evaluate the services for that particular Lord’s Day. This also becomes an invaluable meeting with all present to discuss different pastoral issues as they come up.
– A monthly report is to be written by the intern and is presented to the church at our monthly member’s meetings, to which their efforts and progress from the previous month are discussed with the entire congregation.
– Other non-weekly responsibilities that become a regular part of the experience when the opportunities come are things like visiting member’s in the hospital, helping with a funeral I am conducting, sitting in on counseling, attending our pastors’ meetings, discipling others in the church, pursuit of evangelistic opportunities, etc. Most of these are done with me so that constant conversation and training can be had as we walk through them.
Certainly, other issues and pastoral matters come up and I try to involve them in this issues as much as possible to expose them to as much as I can of the hands on issues of pastoral ministry. I dedicate this four-month period to them as a main priority. Although I am already busy (like all pastors) I have never regretted the time and efforts I have made with these sweet brothers, the enjoyable fellowship, and watching the stunning work the Lord does in each of them during this time.
For more information on our pastoral internship, you can go here to our church website. Additionally, much of the different structures and tasks of the internship are reflected in chapter 5 of my newest book: Test, Train, Affirm, and Send into Ministry.