I love interns! The fire and passion that they (hopefully) bring to a team is so life giving to me. I am endlessly grateful for everything that I was taught by my first mentors at my internship. With every new intern that works under me, I always make sure I try to teach the four of the best things that I learned during my time in their shoes:

Tasks Are Never Just Tasks. For such a long time, I heard “People always come before tasks.” And in thought that makes sense.. but the reality of ministry is that all tasks are about people. Everything we do from creating budgets, to shopping for events, to counseling students is all in the name of serving people. Tasks are not meaningless. They are never just tasks.

Draw Boundaries. Honestly, this is still one that I am working on today… but the lesson I appreciated was being aware of the problem in general. Too often youth pastors draw poor boundaries or have no boundaries at all when it comes to ministry and life. Sure, we will all go through heavy seasons where it will be impossible for there to be a healthy balance and light seasons where it seems effortless. But when your light seasons look too much like heavy seasons, you have a problem. Burn out is sure to be right around the corner.

Grow Your Strengths, Know Your Weaknesses.  You cannot be an effective leader if you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t work on making your weaknesses your strengths, but instead grow your strengths and make them great. See where you fall short and build a team around you that can compliment you 

Work Hard. One of my favorite things that was instilled in me from the beginning of my ministry career is the value of working hard. Maybe I should further define “working hard.” I would say that working hard would mean making the most of your time. Making the most of your time in the office and making the most of your time with people. I will always appreciate how my first mentors taught me how to do that.

What were some of the best things you learned during your time as an intern?