There is a dude interested in interning with the regional ministry at saddleback. Not at a regional campus, which would make a little more sense, but with me in Lake Forest, supporting the other campuses and developing this ministry.

When I first heard this, I was surprised, because all the direct ministry is at the campuses. After meeting with John, it was clear that I needed to seriously consider this opportunity. After a little bit of prayer and consideration, I felt like if this internship was going to happen, it would need to start off more intense than the internships we had in high school. After more prayer and consideration, I came up with the following agreements: (I thought “agreements” was nicer than conditions, but I still used the word conditions when I was talking)

1. We agree that I will disciple you.
2. We agree that this is your internship to learn from.
3. We agree that your ministry is to be my ministry assistant.
4. We agree that you’ll start with small things, and then take on greater things. You’ll only be limited by your decisions and God’s leading.
5. We agree that the moment, if it should come, that you don’t or can’t respect me, then you’ll end the internship.  If I’m not worthy of your respect, if I can’t earn it and keep it, then I ought not lead you.
6. We agree that the moment, if it should come, that you lie to me, then the internship is over.
7. We agree that you can ask any question, as long as you’re willing to hear the answer.
8. We agree that you always do what you think is good, wise, and right.

Since these don’t really stand on their own very well, I’ll explain them.

1. By discipleship, I’m talking more about an attitude and mind set, rather than a program or set schedule. When I do ministry with someone, the condition of their heart is more important than what they can produce. Over the years, this is where most of the people I’ve worked with have ended up after about 6-10 months or so, but I don’t want to wait that long.

2. Initiative is everything when it comes to learning. The responsibility for learning and growing is on the field.  Yes, there’s a responsibility on the teacher, a heavy one, but this doesn’t remove the responsibility on the learner.

3. This one really sounds goofy. I don’t know how else to word it. We’re going to partner in everything, and we’ll see where that leads. I’ve been so busy playing catch up and responding to fires, I’ve not been proactive enough to thing through a specific job description. Were this high school ministry, I could have 15 job descriptions. I could have a few different versions of each job description. I could explain the whole system, plug a person in to an existing area, assist with something, or build something new. This ministry hasn’t been figured out. There isn’t a system. There’s a vision. I have the major pieces of the strategy figured out. But I’ve been thinking in terms of what I can do and when I can get to it…

4. This is pretty basic. Given that everything is new, and John’s ministry skills are largely undiscovered, we need to move slow.

5. This one is worded super goofy, especially the first sentence. I’m not a fan in assuming I have positional authority, and I’m not a fan of convincing/motivating/manipulating people into action. Either a person I lead respects me or they don’t. Leading without the respect of those who follow is a farce and a lie. It’s shallow and hollow. I feel it’s important to earn respect and to keep it.

6. Yikes, this is harsh. Yea, it is. Trust is important, and working closely with someone I can’t trust takes too much energy. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect honesty.

7. I love questions. I even love questions about my decisions and opinions. However, it’s a difficult thing when I get a false question. When someone asks a question but they already know the answer, or they don’t really want to hear the answer, or they use the question to make a point in a round about way. False questions are really lies, but they are in a category all by themselves.

8. I’m not looking for a robot that obeys every direction…I’m not looking for Nazi like loyalty that ignores what’s right. In the midst of some intense requests, ultimately I expect a person to act according to their conscience.

Anyhow, is this blog long, or what?