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5 Things to Look for in Your Next Ministry Intern

We’ve turned down more potential interns over the years than we’ve let into our church’s internship. So I guess I’m picky … and thought I might share some insight into what I’m looking for that might also help you as you look for staff, team members or interns yourself. Oh, and if you’re interested in becoming an intern with HSM at Saddleback, I’ve got one spot open right now! Email me!


Someone With a Big Heart for God.
This is where it begins and ends every time—I’m looking for evidence that the potential intern spends time and talks with God. The pace of ministry is fast and the expectations are high, so a dependence on God is crucial for any kind of success.

Someone With a “Follow the Leader” Attitude.
While there is plenty of room for leadership on the team, I’m looking for someone who will trust my decisions and trust that I’m being led by God’s Spirit as I lead them.

Someone With a Strong Work Ethic.
The team carries many responsibilities, so multitasking and managing multiple top priorities are common. I have to see evidence of someone who can get stuff done, all while juggling the many hats of youth ministry.

Someone Who Is Willing to Learn
An intern doesn’t have to know everything … in fact, that’s dangerous because a) you don’t know everything, and b) what would be the point of an internship since you already know everything? Being willing to learn is a key factor in deciding if you’ll join us.

Someone Who Will Fit With the Team.
The sometimes barely tangible “fit” matters a ton to me—this is the “it” factor of someone who is likable, easy to be around and their maintenance level. All interns require a more active leader and management, so the key is to gauge how much you have in you and how much will be required.

What do you look for in a potential intern?  

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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!