As this round of pastoral interns moves to the end of the internship, I am constantly trying to think about new and helpful ways to evaluate their experience and growth. We have been evaluating throughout the internship, but I am wanting to have ways to measure the full progress of these brothers from the beginning to the end.
We talk about desire of calling and how that has grown. We discuss all the lessons they have learned sitting in pastors’ meetings and visiting widows. We consider the books I have assigned to them and our lively discussions that follow. And yet, I have discovered another form of evaluation that gives a very unique perspective and one I value very much:
“Ask the intern’s wife about what they have observed throughout the internship in her husband’s life.”
For those interns who are married and have children, which includes all three current interns of mine, this is a very effective way to get valuable feedback. Part of the reason this is true is that a portion of the internship is always spent on being a faithful husband and father. Here are some basic questions I ask of the intern’s wives:
1) What areas of growth in the tasks of ministry have you observed in your husband?
2) Does it appear your husband’s desire for the work of the ministry has increased or decreased?
3) What areas of growth and intentionality as a husband and a father have you observed?
4) What are the areas of growth that still needed to be addressed in his life?
5) Did this internship make you hopeful and more desirous of ministry for your husband, or discourage you and make you more fearful of the prospect? Why?
Allow this form of evaluation not just work to give you more creative ideas to evaluate your interns for their benefit, but also be reminded that one of the best ways to discover areas of needed growth and maturity in a Christian man’s life comes through that man’s Christian wife. A lesson I know too well and is a lasting mark I desire to leave on the hearts of these sweet brothers I have had the honor of calling my interns for the last four months.