• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Why I Could Use An Intern (II)

One solid reason why I could use an intern is that there is more work than I can accomplish, and delegating tasks can serve as a reminder of my daily need for God.

Another reason would be to ready (read: train) the next generation of workers and leaders.  Hands on experience with real time assessment and feedback are a gift that we can give to many as they journey towards God’s mission for their lives.  Many of us are where we are in ministry because of the opportunity that a mature worker or leader gave to us to try our hands at ministry through a variety of tasks, even those that seemed mundane.

Here again, two obstacles loom in front of us.  First, we simply assume that we do not have the time to give to such an effort.  Basically, it would take us longer to carry our every day work.  Real time assessment assumes time and depth of relationship.  Second, there is often no short term return on the investment made in the life of an intern.  Most interns do not walk in the door able to do all that we need done.  There are some strong gifts that they bring and can put into practice, but they are unfamiliar with how to fully work out these gifts in the contexts where we live and work.

That’s why I need an intern.  Working with an intern reminds me that life and ministry is a journey, and that just as others were patient and willing to work with me, so I must do the same for others.  And as those interns grow and develop, ultimately I will need to give way and allow them to begin to exercise more and more influence, and begin the same process (multiplication) with interns that come their way.

I may have shared this story before, but it is worth repeating.  One of my friends here in France shared about one of the leaders in his church that had a plumbing business.  This plumber was complaining about the fact that there was no one on the horizon to take over his business once he retired.  When asked the reason for this scarcity, the plumber replied that it all stemmed from a decision a number of years ago when he decided not to take on any interns.  “Too much work,” he said, “and everything would have taken much longer to finish.  It was just easier for me to do it myself.”  The obstacles of time and a lack of short term investment had led him to “get his work done,” but now there was no one to continue or further the work.

Let us have a developmental mindset that allows us to work with and hand over ministry to others who will further and multiply (again) the ministry.

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