By Darrel Girardier
An internship program can be incredibly valuable, not only to the intern, but also to your ministry and church. In order for an internship program to be successful, it must be well structured. There are three key components to structuring an effective internship program.
- Every internship should have a mentoring relationship. An internship is most likely your intern’s first experience in the field of church communications, so they need a lot of encouragement and guidance. Seek a personal relationship with them. Consider taking them out to coffee, asking them about their goals in life, and opening up God’s Word with them. Explain the “why” behind what you do. Doing these things shows the intern that you are pouring into them, not just using them to accomplish mindless tasks.
- Every internship should have on-the-job skill set training. An intern is looking to develop certain skill sets through your internship. Assigning them mindless tasks that anyone can do doesn’t allow your intern to grow and learn in the ways they should. An intern should be able to walk away from their experience at your church with something tangible. Seek to add value to your internship program by helping them grow in their skill sets.
- Have a timeframe. Internships need to have a defined time in which they operate. Allowing your intern to remain with your ministry for an indefinite period of time isn’t healthy for your ministry or for the intern. At some point in having an intern in your ministry, they will stop growing and stop adding value to your ministry. It’s important that you set a timeframe to keep your internship valuable and to keep your interns growing.
An internship is meant to add value to your intern and to your area of ministry. By fostering a mentorship relationship, giving on-the-job skill set training, and setting a clear timeframe, you can have an effective internship program.
Darrel Girardier is the Digital Strategy Director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN.