HOW TO FIND THE PERSON WHO HAS THE RIGHT STUFF TO BE AN INTERN
BY MICHAEL C. MACK
Michael C. Mack is Small Groups Minister at Foothills Christian Church in Boise, Idaho. He is founder of the Small Group Network at smallgroups.com, an on-line ministry developed to provide training, support, and materials for small group leaders and churches. He is author of The Synergy Church and Introduction to Liberty. He acts as a consultant with individual churches who are starting or transitioning to a small group ministry model. He and his wife, Heidi, have two sons and two daughters.
How do you find an intern? It is easiest to look at the outside of the person: skills, personality, education, ability to communicate. But while those may be of some help, they are not what is most critical. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
What to look For
The best intern is a FAT intern. There I go again, looking at the outward appearance! Not really. I do an internal exam to look for
someone who is Faithful, Available and Teachable.
An intern is first of all a disciple. He has a growing, dependent relationship with God through Jesus. He has quiet time with the Lord regularly. He shows signs of maturity and a desire to keep growing. He is faithful in other areas of the Body: regularly participates in worship, consistent and reliable in other areas in which he has been involved, and consistent in cell attendance. He has a heart for God, God’s people and people who do not yet know God.
My first intern was a guy named Jerry. Jerry had great potential. He had a Bible college degree, the gift of leadership, charisma, a
wonderful ability to communicate and good looks to boot. But he had no time to be an intern. His work and a number of multi-level-marketing moonlighting jobs kept him busy all the time. He was not available, which made for a difficult, if not impossible, internship. Finally, he resigned as an intern, and we both breathed a sigh of relief.Look for interns who have the heart of the first disciples, who left what they were already doing to follow Jesus. You can’t expect someone to leave his job to be your intern, of course, but you can make sure he has the ability and willingness to follow.
Discipleship is sacrificial. It is costly. Jesus made that clear throughout the Gospels. But the rewards are sweet. Look for someone who is willing to throw his life into becoming a disciplemaking cell leader.
The potential intern does not yet know it all and realizes it. She has a hunger to learn more about the Bible, facilitating a group,
shepherding people and growing as a leader. The teachable intern is humble. She is willing to listen, model, practice, and give and receive evaluation. She accepts feedback, even in areas of weakness.At this point you may be wondering whether such a person exists! Probably not, so you are looking for someone who is in the process of growing in these areas. No one is 100 percent faithful, or available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, or teachable all the time. Don’t look for perfection. If that were required, you never would have made it as a leader – or as a child of God!
How to Choose an Intern
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles” (Luke 6:12, 13).
As Jesus chose his interns (a.k.a. apostles), he did three important things. It would be wise for us to follow the Master’s pattern.
Prayer puts this important task in the right hands. It says to us and to God that He will do the choosing. As we pray, we seek where God is already at work, and then we join him in that work. Before Jesus chose the twelve apostles, he prayed all night. If Jesus found it necessary to pray before choosing his interns, perhaps we should too!
If you have carried out Step One, then this is God’s calling, and you are His representative. Be sure you handle this as a calling, not just as recruiting a volunteer.
What are you calling the intern to be? What did Jesus call his interns to be? The parallel passage in Mark 3 helps us out: “He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach” (v 14). The first part of the call was simply to be with Him. They would spend a lot of time with Jesus and have the opportunity to watch Him as He led. The second part of the call was to be sent. This is what internship is all about! It begins with time spent together in a mentoring, discipling relationship and grows to the point where the intern is sent out. The word apostle in the Greek means one who is sent, a messenger. An intern is one who is sent. He is like a missionary who prepares to be sent to multiply the ministry of the message of the Gospel. Be sure you designate the roles and responsibilities of a disciple and an apostle – one who follows and one who is sent.
That’s the inside stuff of the Christian life – the stuff of internship.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY TOUCH OUTREACH MINISTRIES, 2000, “CELLEBRATING” CELLCHURCH MAGAZINE, PAGES 157-159.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.