Not to long ago I posted a few of the ways our church is helping care for interns. I loved the list or reminders that our team created and got permission to share even more of them here. Here’s a few more ways to care for your youth ministry interns:
6. Care for their spouses. If an intern is here learning about how to be a pastor, then his wife needs to learn to be a pastor’s wife and feel cared for and supported. We do not expect spouses to be involved with serving, but we do ask that you include their spouses in events when appropriate. You could help connect them with men’s or women’s ministry, a small group, or a mentor while they are here. Spouses sacrifice a lot to support an internship.
7. Give them margin. Rest is not just a good idea, it is God’s command. The last thing we want to communicate to interns is that we are an unhealthy ministry that does not value rest. Please care for your intern enough to give them rest, and honor their day off by not contacting them. We do NOT want interns to leave our church feeling used and abused; we want them to experience a healthy church ministry setting with boundaries that are protected.
8. Check-in with an outside mentor. Find someone in your church outside of the team they are assigned to so they can have an outside perspective. It is a huge gift to have someone serve them and listen.
9. Know that leading interns takes time—make it! If you do not feel that you can give some of your time to an intern, don’t take one on. (The good thing is that interns can take some stuff OFF your plate, so they are an investment!) We need to strive to provide opportunities for interns to serve on our teams, but know that you are not obligated to say yes to every applicant I send your way. Our heart is to train and build the next generation of ministry leaders, but if you cannot provide a growing and meaningful experience to your intern, it’s best to say no before they come onto your team and crash and burn.
10. Always remember our goal: for interns to be developed in their vocational and ministry skills, build new relationships, and grow personally and spiritually as they contribute to our church in meaningful ways.