Summer Interns

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
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One of the great joys of my last 18 years of ministry has been working with interns. My own experience of spending my first youth ministry position flailing wildly as I spun my wheels in sand with little observable lasting impact….and then spending my next six ministry years as a sponge, being mentored by a gifted and godly shepherd…..was my motivation for beginning an internship program. Maybe I could help others start strong, avoid pitfalls, and go the distance.

I am excited every season with the opportunity to pour into younger men and women who are exploring youth ministry as a calling. I am sharpened as a person and as a minister as I pour into them and learn from them. And there is almost nothing that brings as much life to me or our ministry as a group of young men and women passionate about Jesus, passionate about life, and eager to grow in their experience and understanding.

We have an outstanding class of interns again this year. Zack and Ethan are focusing on college, Eric on high school, Christina on junior high, Charideth on high school and college women, and Ike on media. It is a privilege to be iron sharpening iron together.

I wish you could have been there….. One of my favorite moments in our training/orientation time was after we had studied the tightrope of adolescence (thank you, Chap Clark) stopping to proclaim and remember together who Jesus is. We stood and agreed under a May Tulsa sun. Jesus Christ is who this world needs. He is Father, Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Identity, Hound of Heaven, Faithful One, Mighty Warrior, Victor……

Wednesday is our next time to all be together in one place. Staff and interns will be talking about “theological antecendents” for youth and college-age ministry around a good cup of Joe. In other words, why do we do this? Is it more than pragmatism or a middle class cultural phenomenon?

Adolescence is a new invention of a modernized world. So where do we look for Biblical guidance for direction, vision, methodology, praxis etc?

Want to start the conversation here? I’d love to hear your thoughts…. In what Biblical principles and stories do you find theological grounding for youth and college ministry?

  1. Sarah D. says:

    As a former intern, I know that the incoming group has a lot of good stuff to look forward to! Just this last week, I found myself invited to tell my life story to my church’s new associate pastor. His first response after I spent quite a while talking was to comment on what an enormous grace from God my time as a youth intern being hosted by your family has been in my life. 🙂

    As far as the “why” behind the “what” of youth ministry–a couple trains of thought occur.

    1) God always responds to perfectly match the current season. I see this throughout history and in my own life. No matter what has created the thing that is adolescence, of *course* God’s heart is to meet his precious creatures in it, uniquely and properly. And of course he calls people to minister among adolescents, and to do so with humility and skill.

    2) Scripture is full of examples of young people called by God and poured into by others to prepare them for their lives and callings. Samuel, David, Elisha, Timothy, the apostle John started walking with Jesus at a very young age (likely). Also, I’m completely aware that each of those Bible names I listed can provide theological support for your internship program. 🙂 I’m so grateful to have served and learned and succeeded and failed under your guidance and leadership, Hal.

    • halhamilton says:

      Great time of discussion….lives of Timothy, Titus, Samuel…the mentoring/multiplication of Elisha, Jesus, Paul…the building up of the body (Eph 4)…2 Timothy 2:2….

      I focused us in a little on the ancient Christ hymn found in Philippians 2:3-11. Self-sacrificial love…the incarnation…servant leadership. The rest of our time was spent on issues surrounding servant leadership. What does it mean to “have this attitude,” yet to lead with authority and confidence? Simply serving is not the same as leadership. Many who serve are not leaders. So what makes the difference?

      I wish you could have been there. But you can still leave your thoughts. We’d love to learn from you….

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