A pastoral internship can accomplish many things. Some focus on polity, church structure, and how the church should function in a biblical and healthy way. Other internships focus on the work of the ministry and how best to go about it. The pastoral internship at our church focuses more on the latter. Below is the final intern report of our pastoral intern from this last term. It captures well what we hope is accomplished to some degree with our pastoral internship:
The first thing that I would like to do is thank you for allowing me to serve and learn as an intern. By you allowing me to serve in this manner, I was able to sit in on pastor’s meetings and observe first hand how they deliberately and methodically endeavor to serve each of you on a corporate and individual level. I was also able to spend quality time with Pastor Brian in weekly one-on-one meetings where I was able to pick his brain and ask him tough ministry related questions. And I was also charged with the opportunity to refine particular skills that will no doubt serve me and serve people I have yet to meet.
Through the semester I prayed through the directory, and as I visited and spent time with members, my prayers increased in fervency and frequency for you. This has set a pattern of prayer that I plan to continue when we land in a new church, and is one that I plan to encourage the pastors in our new church to do if they are not already doing so. I was also able, through the internship, to improve my preaching skills. I was granted the opportunity to preach twice this semester, an honor in every respect because we do not take the pulpit lightly. In studying and preparing for sermons, I gained valuable experience in knowing often overlooked aspects of sermon prep, like “What time of the day do I think the clearest so as to produce the best exegesis and manuscript?” and “Should I even use a manuscript or instead use an annotated outline?”
Lastly, I would to thank our pastors. Never before have my wife and I been so regularly and heartily fed and cared for—and it was done by the grace of God at the hands of our pastors. Being able to observe all this, and being cared for in this manner, has set the bar high for me and my family for future ministry.
Pastors, I would encourage you to consider beginning some kind of internship for those who might be thinking through a call into the ministry in your church. We have done a pastoral internship in our church for the last 8 years with no money in the budget. All it requires is some of your time and willingness to train and invest in these young men.