Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders 7 Crucial Elements to a Purposeful Intern Program

7 Crucial Elements to a Purposeful Intern Program

I got to sit in on some of our church’s intern supervisor training last week, and at the end of it immediately asked if it was possible to share some of what I learned in the class. Here are some great principles as you consider having interns this summer in your youth ministry!

Interns are young, fresh, energized, motivated and willing. They really believe they can make a difference in the world, and they want to start today. Your ministry needs their creativity, passion and ignorance. The intern thinks differently than you do, and that’s a good thing! In your ministry, interns can be incredible assets and offer you a source of strength and growth. Maximizing interns may be the very thing your ministry needs in order to become healthy and growing again. After seeing intern success, you’ll wonder how you did ministry without them.

We are committed to giving a transformational learning, growth and work experience to every intern. An intern should get to do a little bit of everything, especially the stuff the staff loves to do. After all, an intern is trying to figure out if this is what he or she wants to do for life!

Here are the seven crucial elements to any purposeful intern program seeking to develop effective leaders:

Intentional training:

Raising up educated leaders committed to your organization.

Network with other interns:

Relating and learning in a community of peers.

Thoughtful observation:

Seeing work done well to build foundational learning.

Experience-based learning:

Engaging responsibility and trust to deliver results.

Regular coaching and mentoring:

Cultivating relationships to deal with difficult questions.

New and modified goals:

Setting expectations and igniting dreams to empower growth.

Significant projects:

Assigning meaningful tasks that make a difference.

Lots more on this subject soon!  

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Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!