November 30, 2012 by eimrick
Bible college doesn’t prepare you to be a pastor. To take four years of your life to study Scripture, learn from great mentors and develop friendships that could last for an entire lifetime is incredible, but it doesn’t prepare you to be a pastor much like reading a book on how to hit a hundred mile an hour fastball doesn’t prepare you to play baseball.
How do we help bridge the gap for these students?
Lifeway recently released statistics saying the average age to start as a youth pastor is 23 and the average age of burnout is something like 26.
Somehow churches and colleges need to be more intentional about bridging that gaping chasm.
We’re in the midst of recruiting full year interns who will complete a full year with us in our student ministry. Do we do this because we believe to have it all together? No. Do we do this for cheap labor? We’d better not be. So why do it?
These students need…
1. To experience a safe place to fail without all the responsibility falling on them.
2. A slow transition from being surrounded by mentors to having everybody look to them for spiritual guidance.
3. An opportunity to spread their wings and get confirmation on their giftedness.
4. To see other youth pastors and staff running a marathon and not a sprint.
5. To experience some of the organizational, dare I say, business aspects of the institution.
We’ve now had 7 different full year interns serve with us and I look forward to dozens more in the coming years.
We have a website describing more how this internship works. Recently graduated Bible college students can serve with us and even earn up to 18 masters degree credits.
Take a look at what some of them have to say about it. www.theinternship.org
On a later posting, I’ll share why having interns benefits the church.
What other ways can churches and college institutions work together to best equip our future pastors?