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The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships

The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships


T H E F U N D F O R T H E O L O G I C A L E D U C AT I O N

Grateful acknowledgement is also made to those who created the VocationCARE curriculum and the initial guide for practitioners use: The Rev. Stephen Lewis, FTE President; Dr. Courtney Cowart, Director of Congregational Learning; the Rev. Dr. Dori Baker, FTE Scholar-in-Residence; and the Rev. Elizabeth Mitchell Clement.

PUBLISHED BY

The Fund for Theological Education 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 300 Decatur, GA 30030 678.369.6755
W W W.F T E L E A DE R S .ORG 2012 by The Fund for Theological Education All rights reserved. Portions of this publication may be reproduced for general reference purposes; reproduction for commercial use is strictly prohibited. Parts of the VocationCARE section are taken from the previously published VocationCARE Leaders Guide: Congregations and Young People Exploring Call Together 2012 by The Fund for Theological Education (FTE). All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
PHOTO GR APHY BY A LLI SON SHIRR EF FS

C A L L YOU NG LE ADERS. R E N E W THE CHURCH. C H A N G E THE WORLD.

The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships


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TABLE OF
CONTENTS
3 7 19 57 89 103 117
Introduction Impact Substance VocationCARE Support Putting it All Together Annotated Bibliography

INTR ODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships

Introduction

INTRODUCTION
Very few people who become pastors have ever heard the voice of God calling them to ministry. Rather, many who become clergy have heard the voices of the people of God calling them to ministry.
REV. RICH KIRCHHERR
F I R S T C O n G R E G AT I O n A L C h u R C h O F W E S T E R n S P R I n G S

When Rich Kirchherr was growing up in the 1960s and 70s in Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, summer time meant hanging out at the pool, riding bikes, playing Little League, a trip to Wrigley Field and being part of life at First Congregational Church. The church was a regular part of his familys routine Sunday School and worship, working in the congregational ministries, singing in the choir, Vacation Bible School, a retreat along the way. And a regular part of the churchs routine was to bring its young people into church leadership in what we today call internships. Rich saw his close-in-age peers serve as ministers to him and to the adults, and then he and his friends did the same. For a brief moment, Rich experienced the life and work of a pastor from the inside out and he was hooked. he heard Gods call to ministry through the people of his church. Today, the church is still a regular part of Kirchherr family life, but now Rich serves as the pastor of First Congregational Church of Western Springs. And the practice of inviting and supporting young people in experiencing the life of a pastor from the inside out once again thrives. In 2009, Western Springs reclaimed its charism for nurturing people for pastoral leadership by hosting six interns. Rich meets with them regularly and each intern has a cadre of lay people dedicated to walking and praying with them as they serve. Two have discerned a call to ministry and are on their way to seminary; the others are still discerning. The presence of interns is also awakening the congregation to the importance of its role in ministry. Rich noticed, for example, that members of the associate pastor search committee took it upon themselves to testify to one another how the spirit was at work in their midst. THE PR ESEN CE OF INTERNS IS ALSO AWA KEN IN G THE CONGREGATION TO THE IM POR TA N CE OF ITS ROLE IN MINISTRY. The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships presents a roadmap for congregations and church-related organizations to do what the people of First Congregational Church of Western Springs and hundreds of other congregations have done. It is a how-to book for internships. The how-to knowledge grows from our observation of and consultation with a variety of
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congregations who engage young people in formal ministry internships. The Guide does not offer a one-size-ts-all pattern. Congregations must nd the program shape that is authentic to their identity, resources and opportunities. The Guide does present sound approaches that hold the potential to create meaningful opportunities for ministry and discernment for interns and to build up the congregation itself as a calling community. INTERNSHIPS GIVE THE PEOPLE OF GOD A WAY TO INVITE NEW LEADERS INTO MINISTRY. The Fund for Theological Education (FTE), founded in 1954, exists to encourage gifted young leaders of faith to hear and respond to Gods call to ministry. FTEs work is to create spaces in which Gods call might resound and to offer support for young people who say yes. FTE reaches into the communities in which young people are formed and in which they will serve most commonly congregations to intensify their own practices of call and response. Internships are one of those practices: they give the people of God a way to invite new leaders into ministry and give those whom God may be calling a way to listen and respond. We are pleased to present this resource for congregations and church-related organizations that understand their vocation includes calling the next generation of leaders for Gods church. Through Cultures of Call grants funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., FTEs Calling Congregations initiative has invested in vocational initiatives in local congregations and church-related organizations since 2007. Internships have been a part of that investment from the beginning. Of the 49 Cultures of Call grants awarded to congregations between 2007 and 2011, nine have focused on internships for high school and college-age students. FTE has learned a great deal about internships and about congregations that create opportunities for young people to explore the vocation of pastoral ministry. In a new initiative of targeted funding for internships, Calling Congregations has chosen to meld the energy for hosting pastoral interns with our VocationCARE practice. Those CARE practices call congregations to: C - Create space to explore Christian vocation together; A - Ask self-awakening questions together; R - Reect theologically on self and community; and E - Enact the next faithful step. Internships are an expression of the fourth VocationCARE practice. Internship programs are one of many ways congregations support young people in enacting the next faithful step in their vocational discernment. Internships also create opportunities for congregations to explore their role in cultivating church leaders. This is a ministry of accompaniment. In the words of Dr. Lovett Weems of Wesley Seminary, the church as accompanying community

Introduction

engages a journey together that belongs not solely to interns but to everyone who gathers with them to reect on the questions of vocation. The response of some young adults may be to a call to pastoral ministry. For congregations, the response might be to a deeper commitment to calling young leaders. Inviting and working with an intern at your church may change the ways you support vocations to ministry. You become an integral part of how these vocations are formed. You nd yourselves committed to growth both yours as a sponsor and the growth of young people as they learn to explore the call to serve Christs church as pastoral leaders. Your congregation may also nd that they do, indeed, have a role in the call of the next generation of leaders and that, somehow, this is uniquely their work in a way that belongs to no one else. Pastoral internships are the means for making that truth a fully conscious one in your church, as well as being a great service to the larger church, the one that is to come.

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IMPA CT

IMPACT
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IMPACT
First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn began an experiment in 2008 called The Elisha Project, a summer internship for young people between the ages of 16 and 20. Their aim was to give these future leaders an experience of parish ministry and an opportunity to discern their callings. They could see gifts for ministry in the young people of their congregation, but they wondered if their young people would recognize those gifts in themselves without a little encouragement. Though the project was the brainchild of the pastor and associate pastor, they convened a team of eight members of the congregation and invested them with responsibility for selecting candidates and following their progress throughout the program. There were selection criteria, an application essay, interviews and more applicants than they could accommodate. But after much faithful deliberation, the team chose four students for the inaugural summer. Rix, 20, was a thoughtful and athletic young man, majoring in theology and political science at Drake university. nicole, 19, had just nished her freshman year at university of Illinois and was sensing a call to ministry. Liz, 18, was a high school senior and talented singer, planning to major in music at Valparaiso. And Alex, 18, had just graduated from high school and hoped to apply his scientically critical mind in engineering at Marquette university. THE EXPER IEN CE GAVE THEM A GREATER A PPR ECIATION F OR WHAT MINISTERS DO AND F OSTER ED A DEEPER LOVE FOR THE CHURCH. These young women and men spent 12 hours each week a full day on Tuesdays and four hours on Sunday morning immersed in ministry at First Congregational Church. Alongside pastors and staff, they engaged in hands-on work across a wide range of program areas. On Sundays, the four would alternate in pairs between helping with church school and taking roles in worship. They led prayers, invited offerings and assisted at the communion table. And, with guidance and instruction from the pastors, each one preached a sermon during Sunday worship during the course of the summer. honestly, Alex later told the Project Elisha team, I thought we were just going to be stufng envelopes and making coffee. But we actually got to do ministry. The interns also learned what is involved in becoming a minister. They visited Chicago Theological Seminary and the university of Chicago Divinity School and talked with a retired pastor in the congregation about what to expect in the ordination process.

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We try our best to make this project a holistic experience for the young people, said Rev. Seth Carey, associate pastor, and we believe that those who contribute to the project are learning as well learning what the future of the church might look like and learning that our youth ought to be taken seriously. Out of that rst cohort, two of the interns Rix and nicole enrolled in seminary and entered into the process for ordination in the united Church of Christ. Though Liz and Alex followed different career paths, the experience gave them a greater appreciation for what ministers do and fostered a deeper love for the church. And before the summer was over, several other young people in the congregation were asking when applications were available for next summer. In many ways, this program is unique. It was conceived in the particular convictions and creativity of the pastors at First Congregational and shaped by the distinctive gifts and faith of the congregation and the members who played an active role. But it is also just one example of the many congregations that have recognized the opportunity and responsibility to nurture future leaders for the church by introducing young people to the life of ministry and by teaching them to listen for Gods call in their lives.

A Particular Kind of Internship


There are many kinds of internships and related programs that provide hands-on instruction in ministry and opportunities to explore ones calling. These include short- and long-term volunteer missions, ministry immersion for adults considering ordination, contextual education for seminary students and an increasing number of pastoral residency programs for young seminary graduates. Each one plays a vital role in shaping future leaders for the church and all are grounded in a common concern for experiential learning and the importance of reection for ministry, vocational discernment and leadership development. This guide focuses on a particular kind of internship: an opportunity for a high school student, college student, or recent college graduate to encounter ministry rst-hand in a congregational setting.

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In this type of internship, a congregation engages a young person at a time when she is contemplating for the rst time some of the most important questions of her life: Who am I and who do I want to become? What do I believe? What do I want to give myself to? What direction should my life take? What does God want for me? A CON GR EGATION ENGAGES A YOUNG PERSON AT A TIME WHEN SHE IS CON TEMPLATING FOR THE FIRST TIME SOME OF THE M OST IM PORTANT QUESTIONS OF HER LIFE. This is not only a time when students are asking these big questions, but also a time when the circumstances of their lives make it possible for them to explore a range of answers. Most are willing to dedicate a school term or a summer break to try something new if it will illuminate or eliminate a particular path. Students are accustomed to living on lean budgets in exchange for valuable knowledge, experience or guidance that helps them answer their big questions. The internship presented in this guide meets these young people with their questions and their availability and offers them an opportunity to learn something about themselves, the church and the work God may be calling them to do. This kind of internship is designed with specic educational goals in mind. Whether for six weeks during the summer or for the length of a school year, it offers a curriculum that develops skills and knowledge for ministry and leadership. Internships are an opportunity to grow personally, intellectually and spiritually and call on a young person to take risks and tackle new experiences in an environment that is as supportive as it is challenging. It also intends to have a formative inuence on a young person, shaping his identity as a disciple of Jesus Christ and inuencing the decisions he will make about life and work. The work an intern does is not simply about accomplishing tasks or fullling responsibilities. It is also about developing a deeper understanding of his gifts and passions and of how he might use them for the common good. The work reveals his strengths, his blind sides and the importance of being self-aware. he learns to think theologically about his life, his community and the larger world around him. And he develops a habit of reection, drawing new insight and understanding from his experience. The internship is a real-world, hands-on encounter with ministry. A young person is given real responsibility for leading and serving a community of believers in a particular place and discovers what ministry looks like the other six days of the week. She sees the good and the bad, the petty and the peculiar, the mundane tasks and the moments of transcendence. She immerses herself in the joys and demands of ministry and, if she nds that the work makes her heart glad, she is surrounded by people who can help her discern the next steps along the path to answering her call.
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THE INTERNSHIP IS A REAL-WORLD, HANDS-ON ENCOUNTER WITH MINISTRY. Finally, this is an internship that has been designed with care and creativity out of a conscious commitment to raise the next generation of leaders for the church. The educational and formational impact on the intern is not a chance happening but the result of careful planning by pastors, staff and members of the congregation who possess a clear vision of the experience they want an intern to have. They have discovered how to provide a supportive environment and how to challenge their intern, investing her with real responsibilities and posing questions that she may not have considered before, including whether or not she is called to ordained ministry. They have made a commitment to supervision and evaluation that holds everyone accountable to the goals of the internship. And they have framed the internship as a ministry of the whole congregation, afrming the common responsibility and the joy of calling young people to serve and to lead as members of the Body of Christ.

The Value of a Ministry Internship


The internship that we are describing here is clearly a valuable and potentially transformative experience for the young people involved. They acquire new skills and develop leadership experience. They gain greater self-understanding and discover their unique gifts and passions. They learn to think (or to deepen their thinking) theologically about the world around them and attune their hearts and minds to the voices of God. And they experience all of this within a community that wants to see them grow and ourish in the paths that God has laid out for them. THE REAL AND TANGIBLE BENEFITS OF THE EXPERIENCE EXTEND TO THE LEADERS WHO PLAN AND SUPERVISE THE PROGRAM, TO THE CONGREGATION AS A WHOLE AND TO THE LARGER CHURCH. The value of a ministry internship, though, is not limited to the intern. The real and tangible benets of the experience extend to the leaders who plan and supervise the program, to the congregation as a whole and to the larger church.

TO PASTOR S A N D P ROF E S SI ONA L S TA F F The planning and foresight necessary for a good internship add another layer of responsibility to the usual demands of pastoral work and ministry, and many say that they consistently underestimate the time supervision requires. however, most pastors and professional staff who work with interns say that the refreshment and renewal that they experience
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more than compensates for the extra work. Young people bring an energy, excitement and vitality into their initial encounter with ministry that can be contagious even to those who have been in it for decades. An interns questions and experiences often remind a pastor or staff person of the way their own call rst emerged and an interns presence can bring about a renewed love of ministry, reminding experienced professionals of what originally drew them to the work. A N IN TER N S QUESTIONS AND EXPERIENCES OF TEN R EM IN D A PASTOR OR STAFF PERSON OF THE WAY THEIR OWN CALL FIRST EMERGED. The presence of a novice also helps focus attention on fundamentals. Especially when the aim of the internship is to introduce a young person to the breadth and depth of ministry in a congregation, pastors and staff face the challenge of dening the elements and experiences indispensable for a full understanding of ministry, an effort that often is as illuminating for them as it is for the intern. When interns ask difcult questions and challenge what they see and hear, pastors and staff take a second look at the work they know so well and to offer answers that overcome the natural skepticism of an idealistic student.

TO T H E C ONG R E G AT I ON The value that pastors and staff gain from the internship also extends to the congregation as a whole, particularly when the internship is seen as a ministry of the congregation and a ministry involving the congregation.

Like the pastors and staff, a congregation can be refreshed by the presence of an intern. When members of the congregation see young people who love God and the church, it reawakens hope and optimism that have been buried under doubt about the churchs relevance and long-term prospects. Young people are often a source of fresh, innovative approaches to venerable traditions and commitments and, if the intern is coming from another congregation, he brings with him what he has learned about good ministry there. When members witness interns leading and serving in their midst, it broadens their understanding of what young people are capable of doing in the life and ministries of the congregation. And once that perspective has taken root, a congregation will often make a
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subtle shift in its thinking a shift from allowing young people to lead in ministry to encouraging them to do so. This also marks a change in the congregations expectation of itself, namely that it has a collective responsibility for nurturing young people for ministry and leadership in the church. L IKE THE PASTORS AND STAFF, A CONGREGATION CA N B E R EF RESHED BY THE PRESENCE OF AN INTERN. Members of the congregation who are actively engaged with interns may also see their own understanding of ministry and vocation deepen. Watching a young person explore the roles and responsibilities of a pastor, they may develop a new appreciation for ordained ministry and its joys and difculties. And, as happens with pastors and staff, the responsibility of teaching and inuencing an intern challenges members to answer, for themselves, the same questions the intern is asking. Interns embody the question of Gods call, bringing it publicly into the life of the congregation and, if members are closely involved with the intern, congregations may soon nd that interns are not the only ones exploring and discerning their call to ministry.

TO T H E L A RG E R C H U RC H When a congregation hosts an internship, the larger church gains a new generation of leaders with an understanding and love of ministry, young people who will go on to serve the church in vital ways as ordained ministers and committed lay people. This is the desire and vision that motivates many congregations to establish an internship. They want the church to be strong and vital in the future and they recognize their responsibility for raising leaders who will ensure that it is.

Ministry internships are also an excellent catalyst for the development of networks among colleagues and institutions that share an interest in raising the next generation of leaders for the church. Even when an internship takes place solely within the walls of a congregation, it tends to connect the congregation to other people and places. An intern comes to a congregation from a strong campus ministry program in another part of the state and the pastor calls the campus minister the following year to ask if there are other gifted students he could send to them. A seminary admissions ofcer discovers a congregation that has four interns every summer and offers to pay their travel expenses if the congregation will add a seminary visit to the internship experience. A young associate pastor always visits the

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church camp where she rst heard a call to ministry to meet the summer staff. She brainstorms with her mentor, the camp director, about a plan to recruit the stand-out leaders to attend their denominational college, which is just three blocks from her congregation. In the interest of supporting and growing an internship, pastors and staff nd colleagues who share their interest in helping young people to consider ministry and listen for Gods call in their life. When they do this they craft a web of relationships that links congregations and other church institutions in the common work of growing young leaders for the church. WHEN A CON GR EGATION HOSTS AN INTERNSHIP, THE L A R GER CHUR CH GAINS A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS. Internships build ministry relationships between generations. When an intern encounters a kindred heart and mind in a pastor or supervisor, there may emerge a mentoring relationship or spiritual friendship that continues over time, guiding the young person as he navigates big decisions and discerns his calling. Interns who become pastors or church professionals may nd one day that they are peers with the men and women who inuenced them during their early experiences in ministry. These relationships and shared histories promote collegiality, collaboration and mutual affection among pastoral leaders. They also promote an expectation that emerging leaders will carry on the practice of nurturing, mentoring and calling the generation that follows them.

Internships as a Congregational Ministry


An internship can have a positive impact on the congregation when it is viewed as a ministry that truly involves everyone. In some congregations, this is not always the case. Interns often are hidden in plain sight. They arrive at the beginning of the summer or the school year with little fanfare and carry out their responsibilities in the shadows. When they are noticed, they may be seen as a side project of the pastor or perhaps something vaguely related to the churchs youth ministries. THE CON GR EGATION VIEWS THE WORK OF NURTURING F UTUR E L EA DER S AS INTEGRAL TO ITS MISSION OF MAKING DISCIPL ES A N D B UILDING UP THE BODY OF CHRIST. This guide proposes a different relationship one in which the intern is highly visible, known and celebrated by the congregation. Members of the congregation understand the aims of the internship and take an active role in shaping and accomplishing those aims.

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And the congregation views the work of nurturing future leaders as integral to its mission of making disciples and building up the Body of Christ. THE A F F IRMATION OF LAY PEOPLE SEEMS TO HAVE A UN IQUE POWER TO AWAKEN A LOVE OF MINISTRY AND THE CHURCH IN A YOUNG PERSON. This kind of support and involvement increases value and impact for everyone. Active participation by members of the congregation increases their opportunity to witness the faith, creativity and passion of an intern as she applies her gifts in leading and serving. And pastors and staff are relieved of some of the burden of the internship by more partners and helping hands, freeing them to enjoy their roles as teachers and mentors. The greatest impact may be with the intern herself. The afrmation of lay people seems to have a unique power to awaken a love of ministry and the church in a young person. Working alongside the pastor, she will certainly develop new skills and learn a lot about ministry, but it is often her interaction with members of the congregation that reveals whether or not ministry speaks to her heart. This is not to say that every encounter with members of the congregation will be positive and afrming. Every intern experiences her share of the personal and political conicts common in congregations. Still, in internship programs with strong congregational involvement, it is common for interns to say that they are overwhelmed by the love and support they receive and that they never imagined one congregation had so much to teach about life and faith. In that experience, an intern begins to see how fullling a life of ministry might be. The key is incorporating members of the congregation into all aspects of the internship. here are a few broad categories to shape your involvement.

L E A DE R SH I P A N D C OM M I T M E N T For a congregation truly to embrace an internship as a shared and supported ministry, one of the more effective ways is articulating that at the highest level of leadership. This can be as simple as a resolution of support by the governing council or board or as substantial as a permanent endowment for the program. The essential thing is that the people who guide the congregation understand the aims of the internship and value its contribution to the larger mission.

V I SION A N D P L A N N I N G A good internship requires more preparation than one person can handle alone. There are

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practical needs to address, such as recruiting candidates, designing an application process and providing accommodations. There are also needs that have to do with the substance of the internship such as a clear vision and a well-rounded curriculum. Members of the congregation can assist in all of these facets of preparation. In fact, they may have personal or professional expertise that makes their contributions particularly valuable. LIKE ANY MINISTRY, AN INTERNSHIP REQUIRES THAT THE CONGREGATION DEMONSTRATE ITS SUPPORT AND AFFIRMATION.

R E C O G N I T ION A N D C E L E B R AT I ON Introduce and welcome the intern during worship on his rst Sunday with you. Create an intern blog on the church website, ask him to speak to groups within the congregation or perhaps assign him a weekly role in worship. Ask members to pray for your intern regularly throughout his time of discernment. The aim is to remind members of your interns presence, recognize his work and celebrate his exploration of ministry.

A Culture of Call, A Culture of Anticipation


Messiah Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington, discovered that ministry internships have an impact well beyond the intern.
The presence of summer interns has been energizing for both the staff and the congregation. The congregation has developed not only a culture of call through the internship program but also a culture of anticipation. We await the arrival of the next interns with eagerness and expectation. Summertime worship attendance has signicantly increased as members come to listen to the interns rst and second sermons, to see them lead worship, and to listen to them discover their voice in front the congregation and within smaller groups. Everyone pulls for them. Another positive and hoped-for outcome has been a renewal of the congregations sense of responsibility and usefulness in nurturing the next generation of leaders and preachers in the church. The entire internship experience has become part of who we are as a congregation. There is never a shortage of persons willing to serve in this ministry!

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IT IS IMPORTANT TO ASSESS YOUR READINESS FOR THIS KIND OF MINISTRY.

C ON V E R S AT ION , R E F L E C T I ON A N D P R AY E R A fundamental aim of an internship is that a young person develop insight about herself, her faith, the church and her calling insight that arises primarily by talking, reecting and praying about her experience. This can be a shared responsibility of the pastor, staff members and the congregation. Your interns insights may be richer if members of the congregation are included. Invite your intern for lunch or coffee occasionally. Formalize the practice by creating a team of lay people who meet regularly with your intern for conversation, reection and prayer.

HO SP I TA L I T Y A N D L O G I S T I C S hospitality is vitally important. If your intern is coming from another place and staying for a short period of time, it may be necessary to provide housing, meals or transportation. Even if your intern is one of your own, it is a good idea to treat him to dinner occasionally or mark the beginning and end of his internship with a reception. These are great opportunities for members of the congregation to connect with your intern.

F I NA NC IA L SU P P ORT Like any ministry, an internship requires that the congregation demonstrate its support and afrmation with a commitment to fund the program. This commitment may be expressed as a line item for the internship in the budget or as contributions from individual members willing to provide special funding for a period of time.

Is Your Congregation Ready to host a Ministry Internship?


Before you and your congregation decide to establish an internship, it is important to assess your readiness for this kind of ministry. use these questions to guide your discernment:
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Is our rst concern the educational and formative value of experience for an intern and not only the tasks and responsibilities that she can accomplish for us? Does our congregation have something valuable and important to teach a young person about ministry and following Gods call in his life?

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As a congregation are we genuinely curious about this younger generation and what they may teach us about faith and ministry? How can we share in the multiple demands of planning and supervising an internship with due consideration for the workload of the pastor(s) or church staff? Might we require this program as much as interns in order to awaken and enact gifts in our congregation not previously recognized? Are there members of our congregation who are willing, ready and able to support the internship in a variety of ways? Are we able to pay an intern a stipend comparable to what he would earn in a part-time job during the same period of time?

Adequate nancial resources are an essential part of hosting an internship program. Most young people are not able to take on an internship unless it can offset what they might otherwise earn in a part-time or entry-level job. Still, an excellent internship experience does not require extensive nancial resources, especially since you may be able to cover costs other than compensation with non-nancial resources.

A NOTE FOR SMALL C ONGREGATIONS AND SOLO STAFF MEMBERS If you minister in a small congregation or as a solo staff person, you may occasionally nd the scope of recommendations in this guide to be overwhelming. You may even feel that a ministry internship is beyond the reach of a small congregation.

Be encouraged! We have seen effective ministry internships across a range of congregations from solo pastorates in rural towns to very large congregations with multiple campuses and all types and sizes in between. WHEN M OR E M EM B ERS ARE INVOLVED IT IS M OR E L IKELY THAT UNMET NEEDS WILL BE FILLED. This guide offers principles for designing program elements to t your particular context. Most of the ideas can be adapted to a small congregation or expanded to a large congregation. The section on supervision provides a good example. The role of a supervisor and the principles

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of good supervision are the same whether it is being done by a solo pastor in a small congregation or a director of internships in a large, multi-staff congregation. A recurring theme is the importance of involving members of the congregation. This increases the stake that the congregation as a whole has in the internship and the benet that the congregation receives from the internship, but it is also an excellent strategy for sharing the work in a congregation where staff may already be stretched thin. And when more members are involved, it is more likely that unmet needs will be lled. Ideas and suggestions throughout this guide can be useful in even the most modest venture into a ministry internship. Do as much as you are able with the resources you have and see where it takes you.

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SUB STA NCE

SUBSTANCE
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SUBSTANCE
All of the planning needs for your internship fall into two broad categories: substance and support. Substance describes the experience that you are trying to create, not only for the intern but also for everyone involved. Support encompasses all of the resources that make the internship experience possible. These two categories give you a planning structure that is both simple and comprehensive.

Substance
The substance of an internship program has three principle parts:
I I I

Vision Curriculum Supervision

A vision describes the impact that you hope to have on the people who take part in the internship. The curriculum outlines how you will accomplish your vision. And supervision is the role that one or more people play to ensure that the curriculum is carried out in accordance with the vision.

V I SION When you rst begin making plans for an internship program, it is tempting to start working immediately on activities and practical concerns such as what the intern will do, whom she will report to and where she will live. Before you get caught up in these details, spend some time clarifying your vision for the internship.

The term vision may sound intimidating. But a vision is simply a way of expressing what you hope to accomplish. It is a description of the condition or outcomes that the internship will create. A clear and well-articulated vision also serves as a guide star a xed point that will help you navigate the dozens of choices, changes and opportunities you will encounter as you plan and carry out the internship. A vision assures that everyone involved is working toward a common purpose.

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Developing a vision for your program begins with two questions: Who benets from the internship? The interns are your rst consideration, but the value of a ministry internship extends to all of the people who benet from what happens in and through the internship. How will the internship benet the people we have named? Your answers communicate the conditions or outcomes that you hope to accomplish. There are many ways to dene benets, but these additional questions help focus your thinking:
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What knowledge and skills will they acquire? How will their perspective and self-understanding be enhanced? What will they experience? How will they be changed?

Apply these questions to others who will be involved or affected, such as clergy, staff and congregation members. INTERNSHIPS ARE STRONGER AND MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN PASTORS TAKE AN ACTIVE, PERSONAL INTEREST IN THE PROGRAM. There is another key question: What is our deepest hope or desire for this internship program? In one or two sentences, describe the most important outcome or impact that the internship could have. This is your starting point for articulating a vision that will be a clear, strong statement of purpose. The vision that emerges should be broad and concise, easily remembered and recitable. Visions are strongest when they are developed conversationally and dialogically as a group exercise involving the people who will be responsible for creating, leading and supporting the internship program.

C U R R IC U LUM now you are ready to think about how to accomplish what you have envisioned.

Ministry internships are multi-faceted experiences. At the center are the activities, tasks and responsibilities assigned to your intern. This is the curriculum for the internship.

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Because an internship resembles a job, it is easy to think that a simple job description might be adequate as an outline of what you expect your intern to do. A good internship includes much more than a list of work-related responsibilities. It includes experiences that foster theological reection, vocational discernment, self-awareness and spiritual growth. It is rst and foremost an educational endeavor, which teaches, forms and inuences a young person according to the hopes and desires that you have laid out in your vision. Length, Depth and Breadth The curriculum content will be determined to some extent by how much time is available. Because internships are designed primarily for students, the length of your internship probably will correspond to a portion of the school calendar and will fall into one of these categories:
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Summer Internship (6-10 weeks) School-Term Internship (10-16 weeks) School-Year Internship (7-9 months)

Clarifying the Vision


Three questions will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your internship program.
1. Who will benet from the internship?
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Interns Clergy and staff Lay leaders Other people and groups in the congregation

2.

How will the internship benet the people and groups we have named?
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What knowledge and skills will they acquire? How will their perspective and self-understanding be enhanced? What will they experience? How will they be changed?

3.

What is our deepest hope or desire for the internship program?

Using the ideas generated by these questions, write a concise vision statement to serve as a guide for your internship program.
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Depending on your circumstances, you may not have a choice about the length of internship that you can offer. If there is no college campus nearby, for instance, eligible students may only be around during the summer. If you are able to choose among different lengths of internship, though, here are a few considerations to keep in mind. Short-term internships are well suited to ministry exposure. That is, your intern gets an experiential introduction to one or more facets of ministry but there is not sufcient time for him to take on signicant, ongoing responsibilities within the congregation. Longer internships, by comparison, offer more opportunity for ministry experience. Your intern not only gains familiarity with ministry in one or more areas, but she also begins to exercise her own initiative and take primary responsibility for various aspects of the ministry. Both kinds of internships are valuable. For short-term internships, six weeks is the recommended shortest length if you intend for the internship to have a formative impact on your intern. At the other end of the spectrum, an internship exceeding the length of a school year, or one that is open-ended with regard to time, isnt advisable. At longer than nine months, the congregation and staff may view the intern more as a regular employee and it becomes increasingly difcult to focus on the educational aims of the internship.

Vision Statements from Congregations


North Avenue Presbyterian Church Atlanta, GA
Our internship program exists to help college students and recent college graduates discern their call to vocational ministry by providing an environment for exploring their gifts, giving opportunities for testing the interns tness for particular aspects of ministry and offering a safe atmosphere in which to take risks and dream about his or her future place in Gods mission to redeem the world.

Wilshire Baptist Church Dallas, TX


Wilshires summer intern program is part of Pathways to Ministry. As such, the purpose of the internship is to nurture vocational discernment in college and seminary students through hands-on experiences in a church setting. Summer interns are not to be cheap labor to assist ministerial staff. Rather, summer interns are to be given opportunities to learn by doing as well as by observing and discussing.
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Related to length is the question of the internships depth and breadth. Will you offer your intern a deep experience in one particular aspect of ministry or a broad experience in ministry throughout the congregation? The range of options offer a choice between broad experience and deep experience. In an internship that offers broad experience, your intern develops familiarity with a range of ministries within the congregation. She may rotate through Christian education, pastoral care, worship, music, community outreach or youth ministry. In each area, she is testing the waters without diving in, but she is gaining an understanding of ministry in the congregation as a whole. This approach introduces an intern to all that congregational ministry encompasses and may help her to discern whether she is called to ordained or professional ministry but leaves the question of what kind of ministry she should pursue to future experiences. THE CHA L L EN GES THAT ACCOMPANY G R E AT E R R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y A L S O F OSTER DEEPER SELF-UNDERSTANDING A N D PER SON A L GR OWTH. In an internship that offers a deep experience, the intern works primarily in one area of ministry. She takes on signicant responsibility for programmatic aspects and has the opportunity to develop some degree of mastery in that ministry. As a result, your intern may feel a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment in her work. The challenges that accompany greater responsibility also foster deeper self-understanding and personal growth. This kind of experience helps your intern understand whether she is called to a particular kind of ministry but leaves other ministry possibilities untouched. It is possible to strike a balance between depth and breadth that allows you to capitalize on the benets of each approach. here are two examples: Example 1 Summer Internship (8 weeks) After a week of orientation, the intern rotates through a different ministry each week: worship, Christian education, administration, pastoral care, childrens ministry and missions. In each rotation, he meets with the person with primary responsibility for that
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ministry, participates in one event related to that ministry and takes on a particular task or responsibility there. To provide depth of experience, he works on a single project in one of the ministry areas throughout the summer. For example, he might help develop a set of resources and materials for families who are beginning to introduce their young children into the full Sunday worship service. Example 2 School-Term Internship (12 weeks) After a week of orientation, the intern spends the rst part of the internship in rotation through four ministry areas: two weeks in worship and youth ministry, two weeks in community outreach and pastoral care. In each rotation, she shadows the person with primary responsibility for those ministries, attends one or two events and helps with certain tasks as assigned. In the remaining seven weeks of the internship, she works in one area of ministry, taking primary responsibility for a particular project or program. For example, she might lead the Tuesday night Bible Study for senior high and coordinate the youth groups part in the congregations annual Spring Cleaning a day of yard work and house repair for elderly residents in the neighborhood. Your decisions about length, breadth and depth inuence the kind of impact the internship has on your congregation. A longer internship may foster a stronger expectation that interns are an integral part of the regular life and work of the congregation. On the other hand, your congregation may view a shorter summer internship as a special occasion and look forward to your interns arrival with greater anticipation. If you offer your intern a broad experience across a range of ministries, more of the congregation has an opportunity to interact with him. If he focuses in one particular area, his contributions to the ministry and work of the congregation may be more substantial. As you decide what kind of experience to offer an intern, think about the benets and the drawbacks of that experience for the congregation.

T H E BASIC T E M P L AT E There are two fundamental building blocks for an internship curriculum action and reection.

Action encompasses all of the activities in an internship that are intended to develop skills, knowledge and capacities for ministry in your intern. It includes the responsibilities, tasks and projects that the intern takes on as well as the experiences that her role as a novice minister make possible. Reection comprises those activities that help your intern, and those who accompany them, make meaning and draw insight from what she is experiencing and the work she is doing.

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WITHOUT R EF L ECTION, WORK AND MINISTRY ACTIVITIES HAVE L IM ITED F OR M ATIVE OR VOCATIONAL INFLUENCE. Each of these components is indispensable. Without reection, work and ministry activities have limited formative or vocational inuence on your intern. And without something to do, there is nothing to reect upon. It is important to give equal attention to both components. There is a third component to consider: the learning. This facet of the curriculum is a little more difcult to dene or categorize. Learning may be the result when an intern reects on the work that he has done but learning may also be a necessary precursor to the work.

A Role for the Pastor


The role of pastors varies widely across internship programs in congregations. In smaller congregations, solo pastors work side by side with a summer intern in addition to their other pastoral responsibilities. Interns in very large congregations may work with a program director within a department overseen by an associate pastor within an extensive organizational hierarchy. Regardless of the size of the congregation, internships are stronger and more effective when pastors take an active, personal interest in the program and in the interns themselves.
It is essential for pastors to:
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Communicate the importance to interns and congregation alike of raising the next generation of leaders for the church. Raise the visibility of interns and the internship program, making the congregation aware of the larger purpose of their presence. Embody and model the congregations support for the intern. Develop nancial support for the internship program.

Each of these roles requires a strong grasp of the vision of the program, so it is a good idea for the pastoral staff, including the senior pastor, to be included in crafting the vision from the very beginning.
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L EA R N ING IS BOTH AN ACTIVITY AND AN OUTCOM E. For example, before an intern can prepare his rst sermon, he will need instruction in the basic format of a sermon and in the use of commentaries and other interpretive resources. Once he has delivered the sermon, there is still more to learn from the experience by listening to or watching a recording of his sermon, discussing the sermon with a supervisor or asking for feedback from other staff and members of the congregation. Learning is both an activity and an outcome. In practice, you will probably nd that the boundaries between learning, doing and reecting are permeable and that a good internship experience is one where the focus of attention moves quickly and easily among these three facets. Learning and Doing An internship is an educational endeavor. Its educational aims are carried out in a work setting with expectations that are similar to a job. An intern is expected to be present at certain times on certain days and to take responsibility for specic tasks that accomplish particular outcomes. And, in most cases, she is paid for her work. The rst step in planning what your intern will do, then, is to create a basic job description. If your congregation has a template for creating job descriptions for clergy and other leaders, you may want to follow it so that the interns responsibilities and expectations are consistent with the staff as a whole. If you do not have a template, the following questions will help you develop a list of work-related responsibilities and activities for the intern:
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In what area(s) of the congregation will the intern work? What will the intern be responsible for on a weekly basis? What will the intern do periodically during the internship (i.e., 2-3 times)? What might the intern do as opportunities arise? What project(s) will the intern have responsibility for completing? When will the intern be expected to be present and how many hours per week is she expected to work?

Also, remember to make a place for the reective aspects of the curriculum, which
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we explore later. For now, simply keep in mind that reection is an integral part of the job description and plan to allow time for it in the midst of your interns other activities and responsibilities. Once you have a comprehensive description of the work your intern will do, the next step is to apply a reality check: can your intern really accomplish everything that you have designed in the amount of time available? To answer this question, attach a time estimate to each activity and responsibility in the job description, using hours per week as your unit of measure. Keep in mind that you will need to consider preparation time in your estimate for some activities. For example, if your intern is leading a Tuesday night Bible Study for senior high youth, the estimate might include two hours for the Bible Study itself and one hour for preparing the lesson. Though it is reasonable to expect your intern to do some preparation outside of her stated work hours, failing to include preparation time in the time estimate is a recipe for intern exhaustion and burnout. IN CL UDE A SIGN IF ICANT ROLE FOR YOUR INTERN IN THE R EGUL A R WORSHIP LIFE OF THE CONGREGATION. An intern should have plenty to do, but there is a persistent temptation to assign too much. If you are designing an internship for the rst time, it is almost certain that you are planning more activities than your intern can accomplish in the time available. One way to address this problem in advance is to reduce by ten percent the workload outlined in the job description. here is an example of how to make this reduction. Imagine that a local college student will be exploring his call to ministry by working ten hours a week in your congregation during spring term his junior year. his job description includes the following weekly responsibilities and time estimates:
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Lead senior high Bible Study on Tuesday nights (3 hours) Write a litany for Sunday worship (1 hour) Accompany the pastor on hospital visits (3 hours) Attend the weekly staff meeting (1 hour) Staff the food pantry on Thursdays (2 hours)

For a ten percent reduction, you will need to decrease the workload by one hour. Fortunately, you have several options. You can eliminate the litany or the staff meeting from his weekly responsibilities or you can reduce the time for hospital visits to two hours. Even though it appears that your intern is scheduled only for nine of his ten available hours, you can be condent that extra hour will not go unused.

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Worship and Preaching Include a signicant role for your intern in the regular worship life of the congregation. Liturgical and sacramental leadership is an essential part of pastoral ministry and should be an integral part of an interns experience. Worship leadership develops skills, knowledge and capacities in interns that are fundamental to ministry. They learn something about the theology and traditions that shape and guide worship. They discover the sources and resources that pastors and worship leaders use week after week and, if encouraged and allowed, they begin to exercise their own gifts and creativity and to nd their own voices in the uncommon art of drawing a congregation together in prayer and praise. A role in worship also makes an intern visible to the congregation at large. If the internship is to be truly a ministry of the congregation, then it is important for the intern to be seen

Sermon Workshop
The summer internship program at First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is designed for high school and college students who are members of the congregation. They host four interns each summer and provide each one an opportunity to preach. Here is how they used workshops to help their interns with sermon preparation:

When inviting our seminary interns to preach, we schedule a time a few days before the preaching date to workshop their sermon with them. The congregation in these workshops consists of clergy and other seminary-trained staff persons, as well as the occasional layperson. We ask our interns to have a full manuscript prepared to emulate the experience of preaching as fully as possible. One person reads the chosen scripture and then we listen carefully to what the preacher has to say. Taking notes is discouraged. Rather, we are listening what really stand out regardless of written notes. We ask the group to pay attention to a number of aspects of the sermon including style, diction, clarity of voice and content, inspiration, exegesis, and overall effectiveness. After the preacher has nished her task, we invite the congregation to respond to a series of informal questions. What did we hear? What was the message? Did any particular part of the sermon capture your attention, or lose it altogether? From these simple questions, discussion arises about the preachers moves, choices, and performance. We ask the preacher to withhold her responses to this discussion until the end. As we conclude, we summarize the best points and suggestions from the congregation for the preacher, enabling her to make whatever changes she thinks appropriate before delivering her sermon on Sunday morning.
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and recognized by the congregation. Worship, as the one place where the whole community gathers on a regular basis, provides that opportunity. It is not necessary to shine a spotlight on the intern every time he plays a part in worship but it is a good idea to introduce him to the congregation in worship once or twice at the beginning of the internship. The most formative experience in worship leadership that you can offer an intern is the opportunity to preach. Preaching is the most public role that a pastor assumes in the life of a congregation and, for many people including the intern, preaching embodies what it means to be a pastor more than any other act of ministry. It is challenging intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and even physically. To assume the mantle of preacher, even temporarily, gives one a sense of the great privilege, responsibility and mystery of proclaiming the word of God for the people of God. For these reasons, an interns exploration of ministry is incomplete without an experience of preaching. THE M OST F OR M ATIVE EXPERIENCE IN WOR SHIP L EA DER SHIP THAT YOU CAN OFFER A N IN TER N IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PREACH. Ideally, having your intern preach at least twice during the course of her internship is the best exposure. This provides her the opportunity to reect on the rst experience and make changes in the second sermon based on what she has learned. To foster that kind of reecting and learning, providing a means for feedback about her sermon is the parallel activity. It may be as simple as a one-on-one conversation shortly after her rst sermon to talk about the experience, but you might also consider ways to provide multiple sources of feedback. You can ask her to identify two or three people in advance who she trusts to provide good feedback. You can also arrange an audio or video recording of the sermon so that she can see and hear herself from the perspective of the congregation. It may not be feasible for an intern to preach in a very large congregation where even associate pastors preach only on a quarterly basis. Still, it is important to nd a way to provide a comparable experience. There may be mid-week services or other gatherings apart from Sunday morning worship that offer the opportunity to deliver a short sermon. Mission trips or retreats usually include worship and may be settings where your intern can take responsibility for reections or devotions based in scripture. Some congregations are reluctant to turn over the pulpit to an intern. Leaders are often concerned that the intern in his enthusiasm or inexperience may say or do something inappropriate. This is a valid concern but not serious enough to prevent you from providing an intern with the opportunity to preach. One solution is to ask the intern to prepare his sermon a week in advance so that he can review it with his supervisor. If your congregation has multiple interns, you might establish a workshop practice where interns present their
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ideas or deliver their sermons and receive feedback from their peers and supervisors. Interviews If one of your aims is to expose your intern to a broad range of ministry in the congregation, interviews are a good strategy to consider. Through interviews, interns can experience more of the congregation than they will encounter through their primary work responsibilities. The educational purpose of interviews is for the intern to gain an understanding of the full scope of ministry that takes place in a congregation and an appreciation for the gifts, inspiration, leadership and work required for these ministries to thrive. however, without a more practical application or immediate value, the intern will quickly perceive the assignment as empty busywork. To avoid this pitfall, consider how the interviews might have a tangible benet for a particular ministry or for the congregation as a whole. Ask yourself what information or perspective would be useful to you or to others in positions of leadership in the congregation. Then imagine what you would do with that information if you had it. use these ideas to create the interview project for your intern. The key, as in all aspects of the curriculum, is to give your intern work that makes a real contribution to ministry in the life of the congregation. For example, you might ask him to interview lay people in positions of leadership to nd out what motivates them to contribute their time and energy, what they nd discouraging and what kind of support or resources would improve their capacity to lead. Based on this information, you might revise how lay leaders in the congregation are recruited and trained. See the sidebar for additional guidance on planning an interview project. It is also important to coach your intern on the practice of interviewing. In addition to brainstorming interview questions, help her think about the etiquette involved in interviewing members of the congregation such as identifying subjects, describing the project, scheduling appointments and following up with interviewees appropriately. And depending on the subject matter, you might also discuss issues such as condentiality and handling difcult conversations. Interviewing is a skill and you cannot assume that your intern is ready to tackle the project without supervision and direction.
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Beyond the Congregation Another strategy for providing a broad internship experience is to include encounters with ministry beyond the walls of the congregation. It is important to consider whether there is enough time for these extra-congregational activities. But going beyond the congregation can help interns see the wide range of possibilities that are encompassed by a call to ministry. Other ministry settings you might consider include:
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Community ministries such as hospital chaplaincies or prison ministries Nonprot organizations and service agencies Denominational mission sites Church conferences and denominational meetings

The value and impact of the experience is improved when it is hands-on and involves real responsibility. This may be too difcult to achieve in a short-term internship where time only allows for introductory visits to these other ministry settings. Longer internships may

Planning an Interview Project


Here are some guiding questions to create an interview project that is valuable both for your intern and for the congregation:
What is the purpose of the interview project?

     

What kind of information or insight do we want to gather in the interviews? Whom will we interview? How will we summarize and analyze the content of the interviews? How will we present what we learn through the interviews? How will we use what we learn through the interviews? How will we follow up with the interview subjects?

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offer sufcient time and opportunity for your intern to gain additional experience in a setting outside the congregation. THE VALUE AND IMPACT OF THE EXPERIENCE IS IMPROVED WHEN IT IS HANDS-ON AND INVOLVES REAL RESPONSIBILITY. A seminary visit is another option you might consider, especially if you or your congregation has a relationship with a seminary close by. Your interns hands-on experience with ministry provides an excellent context for understanding what seminary is and why he might want to attend. A seminary visit may also be a catalyst for ongoing conversation about his plans following the internship and how he might want to build on what he has experienced. Other Considerations Be guided by your interns interests. At this stage of her encounter with ministry, it is important for an intern to see that the church needs her unique knowledge, skill and passions even as a edgling leader. Certainly, every internship has its share of unglamorous tasks and work that often simply comes with being the youngest and least experienced member of the team. One of the lessons of an internship is that ministry often involves work that is not particularly interesting or even pleasant. Still, your curriculum should include some opportunity for the interns work to be dened by the particular gifts that he has to offer and the interests that he wants to pursue. Give your intern real responsibilities that allow them to develop a measure of leadership and authority as a minister in the congregation. In part, you can put this principle into practice simply by treating your intern as a true colleague in ministry, as a member of the leadership team, despite the signicant differences in age and experience. One simple way to do this

A Vision Statement from an Intern


John Brennskag St. Luke United Methodist Church, Yorktown VA
I intend to utilize this summer to understand and explore more about myself, who God wants me to be, where God needs me to go, in what capacity the church needs future leaders and how I can continue to grow after my internship.

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is to provide him with his own ofce or dedicated workspace in the church. But this principle is most fully expressed in the work that you ask him to take on. An important aspect of any curriculum is the inclusion of responsibilities where something is at stake, where the value for the congregation is real and tangible and where the intern gets to take risks and assume full responsibility for decisions and outcomes. These are the experiences that will have the greatest impact on your intern. Reecting and Learning The expectation in a ministry internship is that the intern will use these experiences to develop a deeper understanding of self, of other people, of God and of what she is being called to do in the world. To achieve this aim, give a parallel priority to the reective component of the curriculum and its design, as much as you would to the work-related responsibilities you have developed for the intern. GIVE Y OUR IN TER N REAL RESPONSIBILITIES. Two practices are essential for fostering reection in your internship program:
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Creating a Framework of Guiding Questions Scheduling Time for Reection

These are the fundamental building blocks for a practice of reection in any curriculum. Create a Framework of Guiding Questions At the start, it is important to have a conversation with your intern that claries the questions she is bringing to the internship questions about herself, about ministry, about the church and about Gods calling in her life. These will serve as the larger framework for her reection during the course of the internship. The reective aspects of the curriculum will touch on some of the deepest parts of who your intern is as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Getting to know the intern personally and spiritually is a good start. Begin with general questions about his life and background. Then you can move on to conversation about his experience in the church and about his faith journey up to the present time. Once you have established this broad foundation, you can begin to focus on how he would like to use the internship to grow personally, intellectually, experientially and spiritually.

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GIVE A PA R A L L EL PRIORITY TO THE REFLECTIVE COMPONENT OF THE CUR R ICULUM AND ITS DESIGN, AS MUCH AS Y OU WOUL D TO THE WORK-RELATED RESPONSIBILITIES. Throughout this conversation, pay attention to the questions that the intern is asking, both explicitly and implicitly. Some interns may be very adept at voicing their questions about faith, life and the church. Others may not be able to articulate exactly what motivates their interest in exploring ministry. In this case, it may be helpful to pose the questions that you hear within what the intern is saying about her life and faith journey and then ask her if those questions feel signicant and big enough to guide her reection on ministry and Gods call in her life. You also may want to augment this conversation by using tools for self-discovery, such as the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram, StrengthsFinder or DISC. These resources help you and your intern see her through the lens of strengths, aptitudes, gifts and inclinations and provide a foundation for questions about identity and vocation. Once you have identied several of the interns big questions, agree on two or three to focus on throughout the program. It may be helpful to write them down and keep them in a notebook or le that you return to each time you engage in reection with your intern. This initial conversation can take place before or during the rst week of the internship. It will allow you to shape the reective curriculum around the interns particular questions. You may also want to revise the interns work and responsibilities based on the questions identied.

Tools for Self-Discovery


Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) MBTI is designed to measure preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. MBTI resources are published by CPP, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.cpp.com. The Enneagram of Personality The Enneagram is a delineation of nine personality types and their complex interrerelationships. There is no single publisher or source for Enneagram materials but there are numerous books and websites devoted to the subject. StrengthsFinder 2.0 StrengthsFinder 2.0 is an online personal assessment produced by Gallup, Inc. Based on the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, the assessment provides a prole of the users top ve strengths based on a system of 34 distinct attributes. For more information, visit http://strengths.gallup.com. DISC DISC is a personal assessment built around four fundamental patterns of behavior: Dominance, Inuence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. DISC resources are distributed by Inscape Publishing. For more information, visit http://www.discprole.com.
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By articulating the big questions that will guide his reection, your intern is describing his own vision for the experience and what he hopes to accomplish. Schedule Time for Reection Facilitating reection is an art. Your mastery of this art is of less importance than your commitment to making reection a regular practice. Even if you are a novice, good reection will happen if you and your intern meet together, set other matters aside and explore a reective question. Make time for reection in the curriculum. This is harder than it sounds. The days tasks usually outweigh the time in which to do them. Schedules are full, demanding and always changing. The unforeseen is the rule, not the exception. For these reasons, it is important to schedule a regular time for reection with your intern rather than wait for the opportunity to arrive. Stick to the time you have set aside and, if unavoidable conicts intervene, set a new time immediately. IT IS IM POR TA N T TO SCHEDULE A REGULAR TIM E F OR R EF L ECTION WITH YOUR INTERN. Because of time demands, you may want to combine reection with supervisory meetings. Reective conversations often ow naturally out of the mundane matters of work and programmatic responsibilities. Still, it is important to be clear about the difference between reection and supervision and to make time for both. Supervision is grounded in an interns accountability for his responsibilities. Reection is concerned with the meaning one draws from an experience whether it was a success, a failure or somewhere in between. The Role of Conversation There are many different ways to reect on our experiences. At its most basic, reection is simply pausing and paying close attention to the thoughts and feelings coursing beneath our busyness. We also reect when we pray and read Scripture. Some people reect through the work of their hands, through art and creation. Others reect through the movement of their bodies, through exercise, dance or performance. And still others let it ow out onto paper or the screen of their laptops. All of these are ways of directing our attention to our souls and to the holy Spirit. In an internship, you will nd that conversation will be the primary medium of reection.
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It can be fruitful to integrate other forms of reection into the curriculum, but even those experiences will give rise to questions and realizations that are best explored in conversation. What is most important is simply that you schedule a regular time for reection and that you frame the reection with guiding questions that express what your intern hopes to learn or discover during the internship. When you are engaged in reection with your intern, you have two primary roles. The rst is to ask questions. The second is to listen. Conversations for reection are less an opportunity for the supervisor to impart wisdom and insight to the intern and more for those enduring insights that the intern develops for herself. Your job is to encourage the intern to put her thoughts and feelings into words, to listen to herself, and to nd the deeper meaning in what she is saying. There is no better strategy for this than asking good questions and listening intently. Rich and insightful conversations can unfold from the simple question So how are you? In fact, the best starting point for reection is often the experiences and concerns that are most on your interns mind that day. It is important to ask questions that direct your interns attention to different areas or spheres of meaning. These three categories may help you pose them. 1. Personal questions that explore your interns experience in the congregation and beyond.
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Examples: How is it with your soul today? What experience from the past week is most on your mind? Where have you felt the presence of God this week?

2. Community questions that focus your interns attention on the context and community where she works and lives the larger themes of human experience.
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Examples: In this situation, what is the relationship between what we say we believe and what we are putting into practice? Why do you think members in the congregation have such intense feelings about [issue or concern]? If we cant end poverty, what do we hope for in our work to feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Why are we so reluctant to exhibit uncertainty or vulnerability in times of conict?

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3. Theological questions that challenge your intern to express what she perceives in the language of scripture and Christian tradition.
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Examples: In a difcult circumstance like this one, what good is prayer? If the prophet Isaiah or John the Baptist or Mary of Nazareth suddenly showed up in our congregation, what do you think s/he would say to us? What is the difference between being a minister and being a disciple?

By asking good questions, you are teaching your intern habits of mind and heart for exploring and understanding his own experience. And by your example, you will be imparting an important skill for ministry: asking theological questions that draw others into a deeper consideration of life and faith.

The Power of Good Questions


Jonathan West entered the internship program at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia with minimal interest in pursuing ordained ministry. He thought college ministry looked fun and he needed a source of income for his senior year of college. However, through practical experience in a range of ministry areas and through ongoing conversation with his supervising pastor, he was surprised to nd himself discerning a call into ministry. This change took place slowly over time as Jonathan and his supervisor met every week for reection. In their conversations, usually at a local coffee shop, Jonathan would review the past weeks experiences and respond to his supervisors questions: What made you feel most alive this week? What aspects of the work caused you to struggle? What could you do in the upcoming weeks to explore and test the meaning of these experiences? After several months, the supervisor began to ask a different set of questions. Their earlier conversations had focused on Jonathans experience, developing a deeper understanding of who he was and what he cared about. Now the supervisor posed questions about the practical implications of what Jonathan was learning about himself: Is this experience or opportunity that you have found in ministry available in other careers? Is there something unique to ministry that you are especially suited for and even called to? In these evolving conversations, Jonathan began to make connections between his weekly reections and the decisions he would soon make about a rst job, graduate school and other career possibilities.

Jonathan is now in seminary, pursuing ordination for ministry in the local congregation.
For additional assistance on the power of questions, see: www.fteleaders.org/vocationcare and: www.fteleaders.org/vocationcare/approach.
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having asked a good question, now it is time to listen. When it is done well, listening requires as much skill and attention as posing good questions. This kind of skillful listening is often described as active listening. LISTENING REQUIRES AS MUCH SKILL AND ATTENTION AS POSING GOOD QUESTIONS. The rst hallmark of active listening is your undivided attention. This means setting aside other concerns, minimizing distractions and looking directly at your intern while he talks. It is also includes encouraging him with your eyes, your body language and small verbal cues. And while your intern is talking, it is important not to interrupt, correct or re-direct the line of conversation. Even if the direction or intent of what he is saying is unclear, it is important to wait to see what develops or what meaning begins to emerge. As you listen, be responsive but not reactive. That is, join her in the emotional content of what she is saying but avoid the urge to heighten or minimize her feelings. If she is serious and concerned about an experience, then mirror her seriousness. If she nds something funny, then share in the laughter. This is not to say that you must share her thoughts or feelings about the matter at hand, but it is important to be her companion in those thoughts and feelings for the moment so that she is free to explore them fully. Even if the intern drops the biggest bombshell you can imagine, maintain a receptive, non-reactive pose that responds with compassion. In this way, you will establish an environment where the intern can speak honestly. Allow yourself to be carried by the current of the conversation. It is good to be prepared with questions in advance but it is better to ask questions that build on or deepen what the intern is offering to you to demonstrate that you are truly present and listening. In addition to one-on-one conversation, you may also consider offering other opportunities for reection. In the sections that follow, we discuss group reection and spiritual direction as possible practices. These options can be offered alongside one-on-one reection or as alternatives. The Role of Reading and Writing While conversations are the primary medium for reection during an internship, you may nd that reading and writing are valuable catalysts. Many people can point to a particular book that was profoundly inuential or illuminating at formative times in their lives. In a formative experience like an internship, the right text can give focus to self-reection and to conversations on big questions of faith, identity and

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vocation. You may want to help your intern select one or more books as companions for the exploration of ministry. It is helpful to tailor the number of texts or books to the length of the internship. In a summer internship, you may only want to tackle one book. And if you include a reading assignment in the curriculum, incorporate it into the practice of reection. This argues for keeping the reading list short. The possibilities for reading assignments are endless. One important criteria is your own familiarity with the book so that you can be a good conversation partner in reecting on the relationship of the book to the interns experience. In some cases, the intern and supervisor read the same book during the course of the internship. You might also include reading Scripture as a regular part of the reective curriculum. You can choose a particular book of the Bible to read during the course of the internship. You can read a psalm meditatively each time you meet or discuss the Gospel reading from the lectionary each week. Writing assignments can also be useful for focusing or enhancing an interns practice of reection. You might ask your intern to choose an experience each week and write a short reection on it. Another option is to have her write a personal statement of faith at the beginning of the internship and again at the end of the internship. Other possibilities include meditating through free writing, keeping a journal or writing a short spiritual autobiography. WR ITIN G A SSIGN M ENTS CAN ALSO BE USEFUL FOR FOCUSING OR EN HA N CIN G A N INTERNS PRACTICE OF REFLECTION. Keep in mind that some people nd writing to be very difcult. On the other hand, some interns may nd that they can articulate their thoughts and feelings more clearly in writing than they can in conversation. In either case, writing assignments are intended to achieve the larger purposes of the curriculum. As you design writing assignments, ask yourself how they will support or participate in the ongoing practice of reection with your intern. Recommending a Morning Pages exercise may greatly assist those who nd writing difcult (see: http://paperartstudio.tripod.com/artistsway/id3.html).
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Discerning a Call to Ministry Most internship programs in congregations are intended, to some extent, as a way to discern whether or not one is called to pastoral ministry. In fact, this may be one of the big questions that your intern articulates in your initial conversation and explores as a regular topic in reection. Discerning ones calling is not a simple, straightforward or quick process. Your intern will most likely not have a denitive answer about his calling at the end of the internship. Rather, he will have had an experience that suggests one or more vocational paths to explore further. Focus your interns attention instead on two elements that are fundamental in the discernment of ones calling: the gifts that he possesses and the feelings that accompany his ministry experiences. THE CHR ISTIA N UNDERSTANDING OF CA L L IN G IS FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE IDEA THAT GOD HAS GIVEN EA CH PER SON GIFTS TO EMPLOY F OR THE GREATER GOOD. The Christian understanding of calling is rmly rooted in the idea that God has given each person gifts to employ for the greater good or, as the apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 12, for building up the body of Christ. An important part of discerning ones calling, then, is discerning what gifts one has been given by God. An internship is an excellent medium for illuminating those gifts. Your intern will excel in some aspects of the work and struggle in others. With good feedback, she can use that experience to gain a clearer understanding of her particular gifts. This kind of feedback is primarily the role of the supervisor but you might also consider ways that other clergy, staff and members can communicate to the intern the gifts they see in her. Ones calling is not simply about what one does well. It is also about what one nds joy in doing. Your intern may be an absolute whiz with visual design but would much rather visit members in the nursing home than format the church newsletter. While the newsletter may be a non-negotiable responsibility during the course of the internship, her feelings about the
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work offer clues about work and ministry that evoke joy in her. Connecting with that joy is no small thing in the work of discernment; it provides the wider lens for viewing whole the call to ministry and leadership and for possibly nding ones soul at home within that call. HEL P Y OUR IN TER N IDENTIFY TWO OR THREE NEXT STEPS THAT WIL L HEL P HIM CONTINUE TO DISCERN HIS CALL. As the internship concludes, help your intern identify two or three next steps that will help him continue to discern his call based on what he has learned about his gifts and the work that speaks most deeply to and from his heart. If he feels a strong pull toward ordained ministry, this is a good opportunity to discuss the path to ordination as it is dened in your denomination or tradition and to connect him to other mentors and resources. Hard Conversations Occasionally, problems and difcult experiences will arise during the internship. There may be personality conicts. An intern may make a bad decision, engage in inappropriate conduct or nd herself unintentionally mired in negative dynamics within the congregation. In these cases, hard conversations will be necessary. Because an internship is often a young persons rst experience of real responsibility in a work setting, it should be a safe place to fail. This does not mean that an intern is free from

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the consequences that may accompany a bad decision, but it should be clear to the intern that their failures and struggles are as valuable for learning, growth and self-understanding as their successes. From a supervisory perspective, the chief concern in such situations is often conict resolution through clear and open communication and an emphasis on accountability. If the intern is at fault, let him understand the consequences of his actions and be held responsible for making amends and demonstrating a change in behavior. When the difculties are beyond the interns control or inuence, the supervisor may need to intervene on his behalf or make changes to his tasks and responsibilities that distance him from the source of the difculties. Problem solving is not the only concern in such situations. Through the practice of reection, you can help the intern draw meaning from difcult experiences. Once the immediate crises or consequences have been handled, nd a time to talk together about the experience. Ask the same kinds of questions that you pose in other reective conversations personal, systemic, global and theological and give the intern plenty of time and encouragement to work toward new realizations about themselves, about others, about ministry and about life in a congregation. The Value of Groups A group offers dimensions of reection that are difcult to achieve in one-on-one conversation. First, it offers an intern the opportunity to listen in as other people make meaning out of their experiences and grapple with their own questions, giving him a larger palette of insight and wisdom to draw from in his own reection. Group reection also challenges interns to listen attentively to others and to ask good questions. They have the opportunity to develop skills that will make them good companions in reection with others, both in their current responsibilities and in future ministry roles. If you have multiple interns at the same time, this is a great opportunity to develop a practice of group reection. You might convene the interns as a group every other week to complement the one-on-one conversations they are having with their supervisors. In this case, one pastor or supervisor should facilitate the group, guiding the interns to ask each other good questions,
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Intern Support Team in Practice


At Crozet United Methodist Church in Crozet, Virginia, an intern support team is an essential part of the curriculum for their summer internship and one of the most transformational facets of the experience for both their intern and the Team members.
Composed of ten members of the congregation, this group gathers every other week during the ten-week internship for conversation with Crozets intern. They meet in the homes of team members and a good dinner is always part of the agenda. The intern and the team members are the only ones present at these gatherings. No clergy or staff members take part in the conversation. The pastor does provide some guidance, though, in the form of questions that serve as conversation starters. There are three questions for the group to pose to the intern based on her assignments from the previous two weeks, such as:
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You preached your rst sermon this week. What was the experience like and what did you learn from it? Pastor Doug has been assigning you theological texts to read. What do you like or dislike about reading theology? You have been doing pastoral visitation recently. How did the experience compare to your expectations for this kind of ministry?

The pastor also asks the intern to bring questions that she wants to pose to the group, questions that evoke their insights about faith and ministry.
To recruit team members, an open invitation is extended to the whole congregation. The pastor also makes a few strategic invitations to ensure the best team possible. They aim for a diverse group with a good balance of younger and older adults, singles and couples, well-established members and those who are relatively new. They also make sure that there are two or three people who can provide informal leadership for the team, coordinating practical matters and making sure the group stays focused. The pastor is attentive to nding people who will make positive contributions to the conversation and to their interns experience as a whole. In particular, he looks for members with these qualications:

     
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Able to maintain condentiality Supportive of the congregations ministries Emotionally and spiritually mature Able to deal with hard questions and deep feelings Able to appreciate the larger Church beyond the congregation A good sense of humor
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listen attentively and respond with compassion and insight. The Fund for Theological Education has developed a set of practices for discernment and theological reflection, known as VocationCARE.These practices are outlined in the VocationCARE section of this Guide. FTE recommends VocationCARE as a disciplined way to engage vocational exploration and discernment over time, and as further way to shape a culture of vocation in your congregation or ministry context. Intern Support Team If you are hosting one, two or multiple interns, we recommend that you include group reection as part of the curriculum. An intern support team is one excellent way to do this and, because of its unique advantages, some congregations regularly employ this practice in their programs with multiple interns. An intern support team is composed of members of the congregation who are willing to meet consistently with your intern for reection and conversation grounded in the larger aims of the internship. The team may be as few as three or as many as ten and, in most cases, does not include the clergy or staff members who have a direct role in the internship. The team and the intern meet according to a pre-determined schedule. For a short internship, they may meet every other week. In a longer internship, the conversations may take place on a monthly basis. The intent of the support team is to expand your interns experience of reection and learning beyond his supervisor or the clergy and staff by tapping into the wisdom of people who live out their callings in the pews and beyond the walls of the congregation. If the team is diverse and well balanced, the conversations will provide your intern with a range of perspectives on faith, ministry, vocation and real life in a community of disciples. The team can also be a source of afrmation for (or challenges to) your interns gifts for ministry. This practice is also a source for a congregations increased capacity to notice and nurture callings in their midst, especially those of other young people. For these conversations to be valuable, they must be honest and open. This requires a high degree of trust, safety and condentiality within the team and between the team and your intern. It is important that the team be made up of members who demonstrate a high level of maturity, both spiritually and emotionally. Also, because these conversations may be unsupervised by clergy or staff, it is important that members of the team can be entrusted with the best interests and well being of your intern. Though the pastor or supervisor may not be present when the intern and the team meet, she may, out of her knowledge of and experience with an intern, supply a framework or agenda for the conversations. The simplest approach is to agree with the support group upon a set of questions to prompt and guide discussion. Because the aim here is open
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dialogue that engages everyone, arrange for questions for the team as well as for the intern. In both cases, though, the questions are best when grounded in the interns current assignments. For instance, if the conversation coincides with your interns two-week rotation in worship, questions for her might focus on the experience in planning and leading worship while the team is asked to talk about what makes worship meaningful for them and how they understand their role in worship as lay people. In addition to questions, the guiding framework might also include suggestions for integrating prayer and scripture into the gathering or other creative ideas to inspire conversation and fellowship. Where this practice has been adopted, it has had a very positive impact both on the interns and on the members of the team. Participants often discover that the educational experience is a two-way street. Interns learn about faith, leadership and ministry from members of the team but members of the team also draw insight and inspiration from interns. Spiritual Direction Some congregations provide their intern with a spiritual director in addition to a supervisor. A spiritual director is a person who serves as a companion and guide to an individual who is seeking to deepen his understanding of and relationship to God. Spiritual directors train for this role and some may represent a particular tradition with a distinct history, values and practices. In some ways, spiritual direction is similar to therapy or counseling. The director and the individual meet on a regular basis for a prescribed amount of time, during which the director listens intently and helps the individual see her life and experience more clearly. Director and directee act as witnesses to the activity of God in an individuals life. The individual usually pays a set rate for these sessions. Spiritual direction, however, is not the equivalent of therapy or counseling and is not intended as a treatment for emotional, psychological or behavioral difculties. A further differentiation is that directors often recommend spiritual exercises or disciplines such as particular practices of prayer and scripture reading, forms of meditation and retreats. Spiritual direction can be a great addition to the internship. It provides the intern with a

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condential environment in which she can reect honestly and openly on his experience and it offers an opportunity to focus more attention on his own spiritual growth beyond the responsibilities of the internship. THE GUIDING RUBRIC OF AN INTERNSHIP IS LEARNING BY DOING. A similar possibility is including a spiritual retreat during the course of the internship. In this case, a spiritual director may help design and facilitate a format that guides your intern or interns through a contemplative experience that builds on the reective aspects of your curriculum. There are online resources for nding a spiritual director such as the Web site for Spiritual Directors International (http://www.sdiworld.org). It may be good to begin your search, however, by asking your colleagues about local pastors, ministers or others who practice spiritual direction within your city, denomination or tradition. Final Thoughts on Curriculum Two kinds of activities have limited educational value in an internship. The rst is grunt work activities that do not require or develop skills and insight. Collating and folding bulletins may be genuinely vital to the worship life of the congregation but your intern is not likely to learn much from it. The second is any activity where your intern sits passively and watches, such as attending meetings simply to learn about that facet of congregational life or lecture-style presentations on an aspect of ministry. The guiding rubric of an internship is learning by doing. As you design the curriculum, put yourself in the place of the intern and create an experience that you yourself would like to have. If internships were part of your formation as a pastor or leader in the church, draw on that experience. What made them excellent? What made them awful? MAKE ROOM IN THE CURRICULUM F OR THE INTERN TO TEACH AS WELL AS TO LEARN. Finally, recognize that your intern is coming to you with skill, insight and experience that he can share with you and the congregation at large. he offers a window into the perspective of young adults about faith, the church and the world around them insight that most congregations say they struggle to gain. If your intern is coming from another congregation, he may have ideas for ministry that you have not encountered before and, because most young people are not wedded to how things have always been done, they often see fresh,

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creative ways to approach familiar or traditional activities. This may be particularly true with regard to technology. Young people are native to the digital world and have an intuitive grasp of the Internet and social media that can help enhance your congregations ministry. Make room in the curriculum for the intern to teach as well as to learn.

SU P E RV I SION The supervisor is the steward of the internships substance. Once the vision has been rened, the curriculum designed and the role of members of the congregation dened, those elements are placed in the hands of the supervisor, who is responsible for making sure the internship is as successful in practice as it promises on paper.

Who Should Supervise There are two key principles to keep in mind as you select a supervisor for your intern. First, your intern should have only one supervisor. This is a natural choice where an intern is working in a single department or ministry but, if your curriculum calls for the intern to rotate through a range of ministries, you may be inclined to rotate supervisors as well. having multiple supervisors, however, is hard on an intern. She is constantly adjusting to a new relationship and the rotation undermines elements that provide continuity and stability such as reection and setting goals. Y OUR IN TER N SHOULD HAVE ONLY ONE SUPERVISOR. Second, the right supervisor has responsibility for or a direct connection to the ministry area your intern is serving. A supervisor is not simply fullling an administrative function. Rather, he or she is a teacher, a role model and a companion in reection for your intern. There are circumstances where exceptions to these guidelines are understandable. For example, large congregations with multiple interns serving throughout the year sometimes designate a staff person to direct the internship program. Interns work in departments throughout the congregation but they are supervised and supported by the internship director, or the director shares the supervisory role with the pastor or staff person working directly with the intern. What is most important is to provide the intern with supervision that is stable and provides direct support and guidance. The Responsibilities of A Supervisor The interns supervisor will need to be prepared to:
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Establish expectations and set goals with the intern


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Plan the interns work Meet with the intern on a regular basis Provide instruction and guidance for tasks and responsibilities Be a consistent resource and source of support for the intern Review and evaluate the experience with the intern at the end of the internship

here are some considerations for each of these responsibilities. Expectations and goals By establishing expectations, the supervisor ensures that the intern understands the full scope of the internship. Focus on these elements:
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The job description The daily/weekly schedule The process for reection The approach to supervision

It is important not only to establish expectations about what your intern will do but also what the experience will be like. Do you expect your intern to work hard and be task-focused or should he give priority to relationships, conversations and simply being present? What are the values that shape the work of the staff and congregation? Is having fun just as important as accomplishing goals? Are order and decorum absolute requirements or does the congregation prefer things to be a bit more relaxed? Part of establishing expectations is helping your intern understand the unique spirit and personality of your congregation and how to work within it. In establishing expectations, you are communicating to your intern what you want to happen in the internship. In setting goals, you are asking your intern to say what she hopes will happen in the internship. Generally, goals will fall into two categories: work-related goals and reection-related goals. Goals related to work involve the interns practical duties and responsibilities. These goals may also focus on skills that your intern would like to develop. For example, your intern might set a goal of creating a contemplative worship service for college students on Sunday evenings during the school year. She might also have a goal that emphasizes learning how to plan worship and how to grow a new ministry. Goals related to reection engage your interns questions about her faith, her passions, the world she lives in and the call of God in her life. Because they emphasize personal development, spiritual growth and vocational clarity, these goals can be more difcult to articulate than work-related goals. You can assist your intern by asking, What could you accomplish during this internship that would shed light on your biggest questions?
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Conventional wisdom says that a good goal is a SMART goal. That is, the goal is expressed in terms that are specic, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound. This is a good formula to use with your intern. Specically, here is how the ve facets of SMART might apply to the goals that she sets:
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Specic The goal provides a clear description of the activity and the context. Measurable There is a clear way to know whether the goal has been accomplished. Action-oriented The goal is primarily an expression of something your intern will do. Realistic Your intern can accomplish the goal within the length of the internship and with the resources available to him. Time-bound Your intern will accomplish the goal by a particular date or end point.

The following examples show how the SMART formula might be applied to both workrelated and reection-related goals:
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Establish a ve-person advisory council for youth ministry and hold two meetings by the end of the summer. Prepare and deliver two sermons. Use the intern support teams feedback from the rst sermon to improve the second. Develop a personal habit of waking up early to pray and meditate on Scripture at least three days a week during the internship. Complete Section 1 in the discernment workbook for ordination and submit request for candidacy to the Committee on Ministry.

It can be tempting to think more goals will add up to a more valuable internship experience. But setting too many goals can be counter-productive and prevent the intern from feeling a sense of progress and accomplishment. A few focused goals can direct the interns energies toward what is most important. Balance the number of goals with the length of the internship. Typically, a summer internship will involve three to four goals, while a school year internship may have ve to six goals. It also may be helpful for you to set monthly goals that can make attaining the internship goals more manageable. They can act as stepping-stones along the path to reaching the nal ends of the internship. Goals are only guidelines to give the internship shape and focus. They are not rigid markers of success or failure. Invite your intern to explore, discover and pursue signicant personal and professional questions with the goals as a guide. Do not hesitate to return to the original goals and revise them in light of your interns experience. This can be valuable to the intern as she learns how to adapt her goals in light of what she is discovering about herself.

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Planning If you have developed a clear and comprehensive job description, then you already have a good outline and starting point for your interns work. For each responsibility and activity in the job description, the supervisor will need to help the intern develop a clear understanding of the work. This includes an understanding of what he needs to accomplish, what he needs to know and what resources and people are available to help. At the beginning of the program, the supervisor may need to confer with the intern on a daily basis. Over time, the intern may develop greater capacity to plan and implement on her own. In longer internships, in fact, work planning may be incorporated entirely into regular supervisory meetings. Regular Meetings A fundamental aspect of supervision is simply scheduling time for conversation. A general rule of thumb is one hour per week set aside specically as a supervisory meeting. A signicant amount of supervision happens informally in the midst of day-to-day interaction. You will confer together as you work on particular projects and there will be plenty of conversation in passing, as well as questions, emails and other messages back and forth. As with the practice of reection, set aside time to talk about the larger questions. These questions will arise in part from the expectations and goals that you have established. You will want to ask about her progress on tasks, activities and projects that are her responsibility. It is also important to ask probing questions about what she is experiencing and how she is feeling in the work that she is doing, such as:
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Do you have what you need to carry out your responsibilities? Do you feel adequately challenged in your work? Too little? Too much? What difculties are you encountering? How are your relationships with staff members and other ministry partners?

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Instruction, Guidance and Support The supervisor plays an important educational role, providing the guidance, instruction and support that makes it possible for your intern to succeed. Learning is often a pre-requisite for doing, especially when an intern is tackling new responsibilities with no previous experience. It is the supervisors responsibility to equip your intern with the knowledge or resources that he needs for the work. This might include a lesson on singing the prayers for an upcoming service of baptism, a sample outline for preparing a Bible Study or a list of people who are always happy to chaperone youth retreats. This is one of the trickiest parts of supervision. If you provide too much guidance or instruction, then there is no room for your interns own talents and creativity to emerge. But without enough guidance or instruction, the work may be too daunting or overwhelming. This is a balance that you will learn through experience. Encourage your intern to ask questions and to be transparent about what he does not know or understand. You can make an educated guess about what he needs to know for a particular task or responsibility, but his questions are the best guide. Dont assume your intern is comfortable asking for guidance and help. he may feel he is supposed to gure things out on his own or that he should not pester the busy staff with questions once he has been given a job to do. Especially early on, your intern should know that questions are welcomed and encouraged. Keep in mind is that a little failure can be instructive. There is nothing that illuminates our gaps in knowledge, skill and understanding quite like missing the mark. Your intern may not know what to ask you before he leads his rst Bible Study but if it is a rocky experience, he will have no shortage of questions the next day. The aim of an internship is for your intern to be free to succeed or fail, to learn from each experience and to apply what he learns to his next attempt. Finally, the supervisor is a source of insight, encouragement and emotional support for an intern. It is difcult to schedule this aspect of the supervisors role, but it is just as important. It is fostered by an open door and an open heart. It is conveyed in the questions a supervisor asks and the stories she tells. It happens when she celebrates an interns successes and aches for his failures, when they laugh together and pray together, and when conversations wander off the agenda. Concluding Review and Evaluation If you meet with your intern regularly for supervision, then you are engaging in an ongoing practice of evaluation. But it is also helpful to conclude the internship with a formal evaluative conversation.

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The purpose of this conversation is to review the experience together to evaluate how well it accomplished the intentions of the internship. A concluding review and evaluation has two primary parts: feedback from the supervisor and self-evaluation by your intern. These components should be prepared by both the intern and the supervisor in advance and in writing. Though most of the concluding conversation should be devoted to your interns selfevaluation, feedback from the supervisor plays an essential role. The supervisor has observed the interns work over time and can offer observations on aspects the experience that the intern may not be able to see as clearly for herself. Specically, the supervisors feedback should be concerned with two questions:
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How well did the intern meet the expectations for her work and responsibilities? What gifts, talents and passions were most evident in the interns work and ministry?

having offered feedback on these two questions, the supervisors role in the remainder of the conversation is to facilitate discussion based on the interns self-evaluation. While the supervisors feedback proceeds primarily from the job description and the expectations set by the curriculum, an interns self-evaluation is grounded in his goals and in the reection that he has done throughout the internship. You may want to use those categories as a basic outline for the self-evaluation, framing them in the form of questions:
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To what extent did you accomplish the goals that you set for yourself? What insights, knowledge or realizations did you gain from the experience?

The review and evaluation should also help your intern look ahead and think about how to build on what he has accomplished, learned or realized during the internship. This may include taking steps specically in the direction of ordained ministry such as entering into the candidacy process or investigating seminaries more seriously. But it might also mean seeking out other exploratory paths to a deeper understanding of his faith, his gifts and how he may be called to use them in service to the church and the world. To open up these possibilities, include in your interns self-evaluation future-oriented questions such as:
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What new questions or desires has the experience raised? What new experiences might build on what you have learned or discovered in the internship? What next steps will you take toward those new experiences?

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This concluding conversation is also an opportunity for him to help you evaluate whether you and the congregation are achieving the aims articulated in your vision for the internship. Ask your intern about her experience of the program and her recommendations for changes. Questions might include:
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The vision of the internship is [insert vision statement]. From your perspective, how well does the internship program succeed in achieving this aim? What was most valuable for you in the internship? Least valuable? What changes would you recommend for the internship program?

The answers to these questions provide insights that can be used to improve the program for future interns. With the concluding review and evaluation still fresh on your mind, you may want to write a letter of recommendation for your intern or draft some notes for a future letter. having witnessed his talents and gifts for ministry and leadership so closely, you are a natural choice to write a letter of recommendation or provide a reference when your intern applies for seminary, graduate school or his rst job out of school. Your notes on your interns time with you can be highly effective for awakening memory if the letter is composed later. You may also want to share the content of the letter with your intern so that he knows what kind of recommendation he can expect from you. Pitfalls and Concerns Many pastors and staff members who work with interns say that it is one of the most enjoyable and enlivening parts of their work. Young people bring enthusiasm and fresh hearts and minds to ministry in a congregation that can be contagious. Still, supervision is not without pitfalls and concerns that, if not recognized or addressed, may develop into signicant problems. Y OUN G PEOPL E B R ING ENTHUSIASM AND F R ESH HEA R TS A N D MINDS TO MINISTRY IN A CON GR EGATION THAT CAN BE CONTAGIOUS. We have mentioned already the common pitfall of having an intern report to multiple supervisors. Another common pitfall is underestimating the time and effort that supervision requires. The best strategy is to ensure a supervisor understands the real scope of her role. Otherwise, the responsibility may develop into a source of stress and frustration. Depending on the length and scope of your curriculum, intern burnout may be another concern. You may nd that at some point your intern becomes unusually exhausted, frustrated,
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unmotivated or depressed. There are a number of factors that contribute to burnout but, in general, the root cause is a condition of imbalance. For example, your intern may have a large number of new responsibilities but not enough guidance or instruction on how to carry them out. his work may call on him to be constantly involved and engaged with members of the staff and congregation without providing time for planning, quiet reection or solitude. It is also important to remember that many interns are involved in other activities during the internship, such as school. In this case, imbalance may mean that the demands of the internship outweigh the time and energy that your intern can devote to the work. Finally, you may encounter pitfalls through failure to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries among those who are involved with the internship. Boundaries can be physical, emotional and spiritual. Many factors can contribute to situations where transgressing boundaries is a possibility or likelihood. Age is often a leading concern. For example, if your interns responsibilities include working with students, he will probably be close to them in age and perhaps even to the pastor or supervisor with whom he is working. he may be inclined to see them more as peers and interact in ways that compromise safety, condentiality, responsibility and accountability within the group.

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Gender is a similar contributing factor. Crossing appropriate boundaries is often born out of dynamics common between men and women or even between members of the same gender. Examples include competition, intimidation, role bias or limitation, and unwelcome expressions of affection or attraction. Your interns experience would be signicantly tarnished and undermined by any of these experiences. This is not to say that supervision should be segregated by gender. Rather, it is a reminder that gender differences and similarities can have an impact on what happens in the supervisory relationship. It is important to be mindful and watchful, as a natural part of care for any good working and learning relationship. As a habit vital to good ministry, maintaining appropriate boundaries should be fundamental to what your intern learns and experiences from the supervisory relationship. Since this is an area that contains much that may be unknown to an intern, a conversation that addresses boundaries forthrightly is a very good practice.

A F T E R T H E I N T E R N SH I P M A I N TA I N I N G C ON TAC T Future-oriented questions in the concluding review and evaluation lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship with your intern. You and your congregation have invested time, effort and love in this young person at a formative and transitional period in her life when big decisions are on the near horizon. Asking about next steps and future plans lets her know that you will remain interested and supportive as she pursues new paths in pursuit of her calling.

The simplest way to express this ongoing interest and support is to check in on your intern periodically by phone, email or letter. Depending on your proximity, you might also invite him to coffee or lunch to catch up and talk. Your formal responsibility for supervision and reection with your intern has ended, but your shared history of conversations allows you to inquire about his ongoing discernment about Gods call in his life. These discussions may also remind him of experiences he may have forgotten, encourage him in the pursuit of new insight and hold him accountable to questions he posed to himself during the internship. Over time, you may nd that you are not only extending the impact of the internship but also developing a long-term friendship with a colleague in ministry. Maintaining contact with your intern should not be limited to the supervisor. Invite congregation members to communicate with former interns to encourage them in their ongoing vocational discernment. As your interns nish their education and make their rst choices about career and calling, members of the congregation get to witness the impact the internship makes on young people. It is also important to give the entire congregation a sense of the inuence it has had in the
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lives of the young women and men who have served as interns. If, over time, the congregation consistently sees its interns growing into leaders for the church, it will begin to see this as an essential part of its identity and mission. here are several suggestions:
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Ask your intern to send regular life and ministry updates for the church newsletter or website. If your intern keeps a blog, publicize recent posts and encourage members of the congregation to subscribe or check for updates. Include an annual Where Are They Now article in the church newsletter, highlighting the activities and experiences of former interns. Invite your intern to return periodically to preach, lead in worship or speak to a Sunday school class. Provide opportunities at council, board or committee meetings for former interns to share how the internship inuenced their faith and vocation. Host an annual dinner where current and former interns can meet, discuss their experiences and engage with members of the congregation.

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VocationCARE :
A Social and Spiritual Process for Discerning Christian Vocation

VocationCA R E

VocationCARE
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VocationCARE :
A Social and Spiritual Process for Discerning Christian Vocation
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER
T H E S U M M E R D AY

What is VocationCARE?
VocationCARE is a set of practices designed to help congregations become places where everyone particularly young people exploring Christian vocation and the call to pastoral ministry hears and responds to Gods call in their lives. A good, substantive internship includes a practice for vocational discernment in the midst of the other activity that helps young people explore a call to ministry. VocationCARE offers you a set of practices to guide the discernment process for interns, those who accompany them as spiritual companions, and congregations that are committed to creating a vibrant culture of call. All congregations and communities need gifted leaders. VocationCARE helps identify and support future leaders through practices that enable all Christians to grow together into a life worthy of the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:2, nAB). VocationCARE taps into a deep collective heart force within us one that we call leadership. When you practice VocationCARE, you provide a framework for taking deep dives into that inner source. Its an opportunity for everyone engaged in discernment to participate in a clarifying and unifying experience. Vocational discernment practices are unique in each church, tradition and context. Still, we have consistently observed four core congregational practices central to VocationCARE: C - Create space to explore Christian vocation together; A - Ask self-awakening questions together; R - Reect theologically on self and community; and E - Enact the next faithful step.

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Why do VocationCARE?
VocationCARE can help your congregation1 prepare for the future that is already at hand. Look around you. Church is changing. We need diverse, inspired leaders of all ages who greet this change with creativity and a sense of adventure. Many leaders will come from congregations like yours. Others may be attracted to your congregation as they search for a place to explore Gods call. VOCATIONCARE CAN HELP YOUR 1 CONGREGATION PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE THAT IS ALREADY AT HAND. Practicing VocationCARE will tap into the robust stories of vocation revealed in the everyday lives of the people around you. These stories when shared over time can transform individual lives and entire communities. They hold wonderful potential to renew the church, call young leaders and change the world. The pages that follow will:
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Introduce each of the VocationCARE practices; Describe how to invite others into the practices; Provide insights on how to grow shared leadership among those who witness to the work and discernment of pastoral interns; Offer exercises and resources for using VocationCARE within and beyond your work with interns and others in the discernment process.

VocationCARE Practices and Pastoral Internships


VocationCARE has a deep connection to Christian principles of discernment as cultivated in spiritual practices since their earliest beginnings. The admonition to Christian communities throughout the new Testament is to be discerning of the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Paul prays that Christians inward eyes may be illumined, so that you may know what is the hope to which Christ calls you and how vast the resources of his power are open to use who trust in him (Ephesians 1: 18, 19, nEB).
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We use the term congregation interchangeably with faith community. Your context might be better described as a campus ministry, spirit caf or denominational body: all are welcome.

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Generations of Christians testify to the practice of discernment as key to the development of thriving communities and to forming the leaders who emerge from them to do Gods work in the world. Discernment of Gods call remains vital to the churchs work right now. VocationCARE emphasizes stories, self-awakening questions and disciplined reection to reveal the work of the holy Spirit in peoples lives. These practices can awaken those who use them, and the entire church, to the purpose and future God calls them to explore. Discernment during a pastoral internship concentrates largely on the rst three VocationCARE practices (Create Space, Ask Self-Awakening Questions and Reect Theologically). But the fourth practice, or E, to Enact the next Faithful Step, is just as important. In fact, there will be E-moments, large and small, throughout your practice together. These are calls to action. They occur for the interns and for those who accompany interns on their journeys. By hosting interns, congregations are already faithfully enacting the discernment of vocation; this can lead to other faithful steps of even greater scope and vision. One of the gifts of the holy Spirit experienced through discernment is increased capacity for vision and imagination. Congregations see the life and passion that interns offer as a window that opens to the churchs future work, within the congregation and beyond. Interns, too, expand their own imagination about the call they have received. ON E OF THE GIF TS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT EXPERIENCED THR OUGH DISCER NMENT IS INCREASED CAPACITY F OR VISION A N D IMAGINATION. The use of VocationCARE has an exciting double effect: as you pay specic attention to the call of one person, you awaken the call of those around them. Whole congregations may be awakened in compelling and life-changing ways.
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A Framework for VocationCARE


Individual and group theological reection and discernment over time leads to action in the world action that is inspired by Gods call to us. The spiritual practices recommended in this guide foster a continuous cycle of reection and action. Only in Gods time will we know the implications of our practice in our communities and in the broader world. This diagram shows the process that supports the VocationCARE approach:

The Process
Your Story Emerging Story of Now

Slowing Down
Cognitive Level

Access Your Open Mind Open Heart Open Will

Embodying y g
Whats Possible or Next Faithful Steps

Create a Space
(Lk. 10:38-42)

Covenants Holy Listening Emotive Level Testimony

Enact Next Faithful Step


(Acts 8-10)

Ask SelfAwakening Qs
(Lk. 10:25-27)

Soul Level

Framing & Practicing Qs

Explore Intention & opportunities


(Acts 2-7)

Letting Go
Belief Release

Letting Come
Walk into the Future

Kenosis
Death to Self & Old Story

Group Reection Process


(Acts 2:1-4)

Incarnation
New Emerging Story & Future

Reect Theologically
Our Collective Story
Allow the inner Knowing/Spirit to emerge. What is the Holy/God up to? What are our roles?

Adapted from Otto Scharmers Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges.

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The u frame suggests that learning is not only linear and cognitive. The most transformative and profound learning is deeply emotional. It touches us at soul level. The journey of discernment invites us to slow down to approach our experiences with an open mind, heart and will, and to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). It opens us to an encounter with the holy an encounter that helps us envision and enact the future to which God calls us. THE J OUR N EY OF DISCERNMENT IN VITES US TO SL OW DOWN.

What VocationCARE Reveals


Each of the VocationCARE practices offers a series of actions to take as a group. They lead to a type of spiritual meeting place a place of divine mystery, with the primary mystery being our own lives. Doing this work helps reveal how our individual and collective lives participate in the life and will of God. Youll be introduced to new behaviors that allow everyone in your group, in small steps, to begin to see their lives through a vocational lens. DOIN G THIS WOR K HELPS REVEAL HOW OUR IN DIVIDUA L A ND COLLECTIVE LIVES PA R TICIPATE IN THE LIFE AND WILL OF GOD. Simply put, VocationCARE wakes us up to the creative action of God in our lives and, together, guides us to discern how we are called to live in the world.

Other Times for VocationCARE


VocationCARE can enrich and enliven a variety of events and timeframes, including:
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Weekend Retreats: Retreats with adults and young adults may create a way to pay VocationCARE forward to the whole congregation or to other young people. Weeklong Programs: Use the VocationCARE practices with small groups as a curriculum or with other kinds of ministries, such as Vacation Bible School.
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Over Several Months: Use VocationCARE to help older adults and young people discern and act on their sense of call and involvement in ministry, within the congregation or elsewhere. Seasonal Practice: Use VocationCARE as a curriculum for Advent, Lent or Pentecost.

The VocationCARE Practices


This section presents the four CARE practices to use with your pastoral interns and congregation: C - Create space to explore Christian vocation together; A - Ask self-awakening questions together; R - Reect theologically on self and community; and E - Enact the next faithful step.
P R AC T IC E S AT A G L A N C E :

1. Create Space Set the stage: creating physical, inward and relational space a. Covenants of Presence b. Holy Listening c. Testimony 2. Ask Self-Awakening Questions a. Frame and practice self-awakening questions b. Letting Go and Walking into the Future 3. Reflect Theologically on Self and Community a. Awaken your purpose through theological reection b. L.I.V.E. 4. Enact The Next Faithful Step a. Engage and design an action plan b. The future of VocationCARE in your congregation or ministry

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P R AC T IC E 1 :

Create a Space

Creating a space to explore Christian vocation requires attention to physical, inner and relational spaces. VocationCARE cultivates them all. The goal of this rst practice is to foster harmony between the inward reection you seek and the outward, physical arrangement of the space where you will gather.

Physical Space
Tend to physical space for VocationCARE by identifying a place that is set apart, away from distractions. Select a space conducive to quietly engaging the presence of God and the anticipated activity of the holy Spirit among those gathered. Arrange chairs or furniture in a circle to recognize the equality in Christ of all participants. Offer a coffee/tea and snack service and other forms of hospitality to shape anticipation of the good that everyone will nd in one anothers company. If the room is typically used for other, dissimilar purposes, try to arrange it in a way that lets these other purposes recede for the time you are gathered. Create a sacred focal point at the center of your circle. This centers attention and intention. The focal point may be a small table with a candle and owers. It can also be a sacred image that represents the presence of God and highlights the communal nature of gathering together. Your aim is to create a safe and honest conversational space where everyones dignity is honored a space where the gifts of each participant, especially the person in discernment, may come to the fore. Your denominational or spiritual tradition, or the will of the group, will help you determine how elaborate or simple you want the focal point to be. Y OUR A IM IS TO CREATE A SAFE AND HON EST CON VER SATIONAL SPACE WHERE EVERY ON ES DIGN ITY IS HONORED.

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Relational Space
You can help create a relational space in three ways:
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Have the person convening the group remind everyone of the gatherings purpose. Give a brief overview of why they are there and what you aim to accomplish together. Summarize what led to this gathering, who in the congregation is responsible and why each person gathered has been chosen to participate in the discernment process. UNTIL YOU SEE ME I DO NOT EXIST. WHEN YOU SEE ME, YOU BRING ME INTO EXISTENCE.

Reect a growing awareness of participants relationship to one another in Christ by using an exercise that helps them shift focus away from self and toward others. Engage the exercise called, I see you. The point of this exercise is reected in a Swahili proverb, Sawa bono Sikhona, which means Until you see me I do not exist. When you see me, you bring me into existence. In this exercise, stand up from your chair and walk toward another member of your group. Introduce yourself by name and by any other self-description you wish to use. Then say to that person, and I see you, [name]. Do this at the groups rst meeting, involving everyone. While it may feel awkward at rst, this practice highlights the importance of relationship as primarily seeing someone in a way becomes an important spiritual practice (see Matthew 25: 31-46). Use Covenants of Presence (see below), formulated by the Center for Courage and Renewal, to align the group in a shared intention of listening for the Holy Spirit in each others lives. The covenants represent a way of showing up for one another in this space. They are intentional toward creating space for what Quaker activist Parker Palmer names as the shy soul. The shy soul cannot show up without the assurance of safe relational space. That soul is bound to retreat if it feels that others are being too intrusive or are crashing toward it to establish intimacy. The Covenants of Presence care for the shy soul within each of us. Read the covenants at every meeting to embody your intention to be present to one another in a transformative way. Avoid rushing through the covenants. Take a few moments for them to engage your thoughts. Repeated use of these covenants will have an effect on the way you and other participants relate to one another and move through the world.

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THE SHY SOUL CA NNOT SHOW UP WITHOUT THE A SSUR A N CE OF SAFE RELATIONAL SPACE.

Covenants of Presence

1. Be fully present, extending and presuming welcome. Set aside the usual distractions of things undone from yesterday, things to do tomorrow. Welcome others into this story space and presume you are welcome as well. 2. Listen Generously. Listen intently to what is said; listen to the feelings beneath the words. As Quaker Douglas Steere writes, To listen anothers soul into life, into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest gift we can offer to another. 3. Author Your Story. We all have a story. Some might say, I dont have a story or a story worth telling, but you do and the world is in need of hearing it. You must claim authorship of your own story and learn to tell it to others so they might understand you, be inspired by you and discover what calls you to be who you are, to do what you do or to love what you love. 4. We come as equals. We dont have the same gifts, limits or experiences, but no persons gifts, limits or experiences are more or less important than anothers. 5. It is never share or die. You will be invited to share stories in pairs and in a large group. The invitation is exactly that. You will determine the extent to which you want to participate. 6. No xing. We are not here to set someone else straight, right a wrong, or provide therapy. We are here to witness Gods presence and movement in the sacred stories we share. 7. Suspend judgment. Set aside your judgments. By creating a space between judgments and reactions, we can listen to another person, and to ourselves, more fully. 8. Turn to wonder. If you nd yourself becoming judgmental or cynical, try turning to wonder: I wonder why she shared that story or made those choices? I wonder what my reaction teaches me? I wonder what hes feeling right now?

Adapted Touchstones used in The Center for Courage and Renewals Circles of Trust Retreats

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9. Hold these stories with care. There are many people who will benet from the stories they hear during our time together. Imagine hearing another as you would listen to Scripture attentively, mindfully and open to the holy. 10. Be mindful and respectful of time. We all have something important to share and the discipline of time invites us to focus and make particular choices about what to share and how much to share so that we might hear the deep longings of anothers soul. 11. Practice condentiality care. We create a safe space by respecting the nature and content of the stories heard. If anyone asks that a story shared be kept in condence, the group will honor that request. 12. Welcome discomfort and dislocation. In the midst of new and uncomfortable places and the company of strangers, move against an instinct to construct a mental space of safety or to check out. In what causes unease, see another world to be discovered. Perhaps it already lives secretly within you. 13. Love the questions themselves. Let your questions linger. Release the compulsion to answer them or to have them answered. Trust the questions to guide you toward loving rst what you do not altogether understand. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke says, have patience with all that remains unsolved within your heart. 14. Believe that it is possible for us to emerge from our time together refreshed, surprised and less burdened than when we came. Expect that our work together can provide renewal, refreshment and possibilities for what we can do together to create the future that is waiting to be born, and that seeds planted here will keep growing and ourish in the days ahead in service to Gods church and renewing work in the world. EXPECT THAT OUR WORK TOGETHER CAN PROVIDE RENEWAL, REFRESHMENT AND POSSIBILITIES FOR WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER. When all the covenants are read into your gathering space, ask if everyone will accept and abide by them. Ask, too, if there are any covenants that should be added and if participants want to identify which covenants attract them and which challenge or give them trouble. This exercise makes clear that getting used to the space is learned over time, not instantaneously. The covenants help to create a different kind of listening, engendered by habitual (not perfect!) engagement.

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Evocative Readings
Read a Scripture passage or poetry as another element of creating space together. This practice further plugs us into a space of deep listening. Scripture and poetry both have the effect of breaking the ice within us they overcome inner resistance and open our souls to be awakened to the voice of God. Select readings with the aim of awakening mind and heart. Scripture and poetry evoke testimony (or story-telling) and holy listening, helping us listen to one another as we would to Scripture. SCR IPTUR E A N D POETRY BOTH HAVE THE EF F ECT OF B R EA KING THE ICE WITHIN US. Some Scripture passages for you to consider: Luke 10:38-42 (Martha and Mary) Luke 24: 13-32 (The Road to Emmaus) Jeremiah 1: 4-5 (Jeremiahs call to prophecy) John 1: 35-42 (Jesus calls the disciples) The Scripture reading can stand by itself or be used as an antiphon before and after the reading of a poetic passage. For example, read Jeremiah 1: 4-5 before and after reading Dr. howard Thurmans The Sound of the Genuine, or try reading Matthew 13: 31-32 before and after reading Trust in the Slow Work of God, a meditative poem by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. These and other passages (from authors like Frederick Buechner, Martin Luther King, Flannery OConnor and other saints, poets and theologians) act as provocateurs, as necessary preludes to holy listening and testimony. They prepare us to tell stories that witness to the presence of God in our lives.

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The Sound of the Genuine


by the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman 3 There is in every person something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in herself [or himself] There is in you something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. nobody like you has ever been born and no one like you will ever be born again you are the only one. If you cannot hear the sound of the genuine within you, you will never nd whatever it is for which you are searching and if you hear it and then do not follow it, it was better that you had never been born. You are the only you that has ever lived; your idiom is the only idiom of its kind in all the existences, and if you cannot hear the sound of the genuine in you, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls. So the burden of what I have to say to you is, What is your name who are you and can you nd a way to hear the sound of the genuine in yourself? There are so many [voices and] noises going on inside of you, so many echoes of all sorts, so many internalizing of the rumble and the trafc going on in your minds, the confusions, the disorders by which your environment is peopled that I wonder if you can get still enough not quiet enough still enough to hear rumbling up from your unique and essential idiom the sound of the genuine in you. I dont know if you can. But this is your assignment. The sound of the genuine is owing through you. Dont be deceived and thrown off by all the noises that are a part even of your dreams [and] your ambitions that you dont hear the sound of the genuine in you. Because that is the only true guide you will ever have and if you dont have that you dont have a thing. Cultivate the discipline of listening to the sound of the genuine in yourself.

This text is based on excerpts from Dr. Howard Thurmans Baccalaureate Address at Spelman College, May 4, 1980, as edited by Jo Moore Stewart for The Spelman Messenger Vol. 96 No. 4 (Summer 1980), 14 -15.

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Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(Cited from Spiritual Activism: Spiritual Practices for Teams Committed to Personal and Social Transformation, Life Together: The Diomass Intern Program and the Leadership Development Initiative, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts)

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. Yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stage of instability and that may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you. Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow. Let them shape themselves without undue haste. Do not try to force them on as though you could be today what time that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will will make you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new Spirit gradually forming in you will be.

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holy Listening and Testimony: Gateways to Sharing Our Stories


holy listening is a way to invite people to slow down and speak the truth of their lives out loud to one another. Testimony is the practice of sharing the stories that give meaning to our lives. These two practices work together as we create our space for vocational discernment.

HOLY L I ST E N I NG holy listening is very different from the common, everyday listening we do most of the time. In many of our daily conversations, we listen to whats being said only long enough to inject an opinion at the earliest possible moment. We listen with our outer ear while, with the rest of our minds, we prepare our own response.

HOLY LISTENING IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE COMMON, EVERYDAY LISTENING WE DO. In holy listening, the focus is on the speaker. The listener practices a disciplined posture of care, hospitality, relaxed awareness and attentiveness. This practice creates space for calm abiding with one another, and for the shy soul that longs to be admitted. As Quaker scholar Douglas Steere says in the Covenants of Presence, To listen anothers soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service any human being performs for another. Consider reading this quote aloud when your group gathers.

TESTIMONY In some church settings, testimony means standing up to tell ones conversion experience or personal salvation story. For our purposes, testimony is simply telling the truths of our lives to one another. As we share our stories, we testify to our lifes truths. This is how we can look together for the ways God is at work in our lives. We testify so that the work of God in us may be made manifest (John 9: 3).

WHY STORY? Stories are the best containers for our dreams and our truths. We use stories in VocationCARE as the primary lens for viewing vocation.

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1. Stories communicate our passions, values and commitments through the language of our heart and emotions. STOR IES COM M UN ICATE OUR PA SSION S, VALUES A N D COM M ITM EN TS. 2. Stories foster relationship. They engage others and create empathy between the storyteller and the listener. 3. Telling our stories helps us elicit call narratives for ourselves and one another. Sometimes we discover a new truth about our lives only in the moment of telling it to another person. 4. Our feelings, our hopes, our cares and obligations not simply what we know in our heads ultimately inspire us to act with courage. Since our stories relate our values through our lived experience (rather than dogma, debate or argument) they help us create a more neutral territory where we nd common purpose. 5. Stories lead to action. Through stories we become empowered to act on our own sense of vocation and enable others to do the same. 6. Storytelling opens our hearts, minds and wills, and fosters communion with God and neighbor. This is because storytelling is an act of exchange of giving and receiving our deepest selves. It calls us to treat with care many things we may have previously ignored as insignicant.

Story Prompts
Story prompts help us get started in the space of holy listening and testimony. They turn attention to how our lives are instruments and vessels of grace, bearing their own divine

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messages. When storytellers speak from their hearts, their stories call listeners to attention that is focused on how the Word of God is living and active in our lives. Here are a series of tips and directions to guide you through this process.

F IR ST HEAR ING
TIPS F OR FIRST HEARING OF A N OTHER S STORY Undivided Attention Make eye contact with the storyteller and give him or her your full attention as if there was nothing else more important than listening to his/her story. Holy Listening Listen reverently as if you were in the presence of the Holy and witness the truth of this sacred story with no expectation of responding. Hold the space with your presence and receive the precious gift in this story. Journaling Journal after listening and consider: What feelings emerged as you shared your stories? Where did you identify with one anothers stories? How did this experience feel? What, if anything, might this experience suggest for you?

F IR ST TELLING
TIPS F OR FIRST STORYTELL IN G

Tell a story about a time when some insight into who you are came to you because you heard the sound of the genuine.
Be Specific Talk about what actually happened. It helps to begin stories with One time or I remember a time when Be Descriptive Use images, feelings and places to provide texture, color and description to your story. Use the 5Ws: who, what, when, where and why. Be Self-Reflective Who noticed me or saw the genuine in me? How did I know? What did he or she say? Or what did I realize? What did I feel? How did it feel to reckon with my genuine self and have it named?

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S ECOND HEAR ING


TIPS F OR SECOND HEARIN G OF A N OTHER S STORY Undivided Attention Make eye contact with the storyteller and give him or her your full attention as if there was nothing else more important than listening to his/her story. Holy Listening Listen reverently as if you were in the presence of the Holy and witness the truth of this sacred story. Hold the space with your presence and receive it as a precious gift. Imagine you are listening with Gods ears. Journaling Journal after listening and consider: What images, key words, or phrases stand out as meaningful to you? Is there a question you might ask your partner that would move the conversation deeper into the heart of the matter? What did you enjoy or find yourself wondering about?

S ECOND TELLING
TIPS F OR SECOND STORYTEL L IN G

Tell a story about a time when you created something from hearing the sound of the genuine.
Be Specific Talk about what actually happened. It helps to begin stories with One time or I remember a time when Be Descriptive Use words, images, feelings and places to provide texture and color to your story description. Cover the 5Ws: Who, what when, where and why. Be Self-Reflective Where was I? What happened? What did I create? (Such as a program, relationship, artistic expression or an interpretation of an experience) What was I feeling at the time? What mattered most to me at the time?

We include steps for two rounds of storytelling. This hones the practice and takes VocationCARE participants to a deeper place in their souls. It prepares them for the other practices that follow. The steps are similar in each round; only the prompts for stories change. Notes: The concept of the genuine may be too abstract for the rst time you try this practice. If so, here are other prompts to consider:
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Tell a story of a time when someone noticed you and your gifts and you knew it. Tell a story about why you do what you do, love what you love, care about what you care about.
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Tell a story about a time when something you cherished was challenged and you had to make a choice.

Journaling between rounds of storytelling or when you have nished this practice may seem like an interruption of your process with one another but it is a great way to capture aspects of the experience to guide you in reading your conversations with one another. It is also helpful to the next practice, Asking Self-Awakening Questions.

P R AC T IC E 2 :

Ask Self-Awakening Questions

The experience of self-awakening questions begins with hearing the evocative reading and listening to the story prompts. Our stories naturally lead to additional wonder questions, such as, I wonder why he did that? I wonder what else helped her make her choice? I wonder what her parents/friends/siblings might think or say if they could hear her story told as she told it today? Self-awakening questions wake us up to our lives. As we share our stories, we consider where and how they interact with Gods great story. When we ask the storyteller self-awakening questions, we help them explore new, perhaps unexplored, dimensions of their story. In other words, self-awakening questions help the storyteller reect on feelings, images, passions, concerns, hopes, values and purpose as well as themes and patterns. Our questions are not designed to push solutions to perceived problems. here are some guidelines to asking questions that help open up the storyteller to discerning the work of the holy Spirit:

how to Frame Self-Awakening Questions


1. The best questions are simple, brief and to the point.

2. Think of questions that you could not anticipate the answers to questions that invite the storyteller into deeper self-reection on his or her faith, gifts and sense of call.

Adapted from Caryl Hurtig Casbons Framing Open Questions and the Center for Courage and Renewals Guidelines to Asking Open and Honest Questions.

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3. Avoid asking questions with right or wrong answers. Instead, ask how, what or why questions. These questions focus inquiry, encourage reection, touch a deeper meaning and generate curiosity. 4. Explore questions that invite images or metaphors because they can open things up in ways that more direct questions dont. 5. Ask questions that help the storyteller to reect on clarifying feelings, vivid images, passions, concerns, hopes and values as well as patterns and themes in his or her story. 6. Ask questions that help the storyteller explore his or her inner realities as well as the outward facts what he or she loves, cares about or values. 7. Ask questions aimed at helping the storyteller remember the risks or challenges, choices and outcomes in their story. 8. Pace questions to allow some silence between the last answer and the next question. Questions that emerge too quickly often feel a little intrusive, cutting off the deep reection that can help the storyteller. 9. Trust your intuition in asking questions. If you are not sure about a particular question, sit with it for a while and wait for clarity. 10. As you listen deeply to the storyteller, allow your questions to emerge from a place where your head and heart are open to the presence of the holy.

A Simple Exercise for Asking Self-Awakening Questions


Discuss the story told by the person on your left (if you are arranged in groups). First, sit with the story. See what question emerges for you to ask for the storytellers benet. After a few minutes of pondering, pose your question. The storyteller is not obligated to answer but is invited to sit with the question. he or she may respond by saying how or where the question takes them in deeper relationship to the story and its meaning. The storyteller may also choose to simply hear and hold the question without comment. As with holy listening and testimony, the process of asking self-awakening questions is well-served by journaling. This allows each person to capture the questions and impressions that the process has stirred.
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Creating conditions under which students can conduct an inner search does not mean dictating answers to inner life questions which, by denition, do not have answers in any conventional sense. It means helping students learn how to ask questions that are worth asking because they are worth living, questions one can fruitfully hold at the center of ones life.
PARKER PALMER
H E A L I N G T H E H E A RT O F D E MO C R AC Y

Additional Exercise:
Close your session by using everyones journal notes on the stories and self-awakening questions. Construct a wall of post-its (of one color) of words or phrases that name the discoveries and truths your time together has revealed. Make a commitment to them as truths to be upheld and protected by your lives and actions.

Exercises for Letting Go and Walking into the Future


Two helpful exercises Letting Go and Walking into the Future can be used as you bridge to the next practice, which is Reect Together Theologically. These exercises foster a deep place of vision and imagination for our lives together. They support us in calling in Gods new Creation. They help integrate the work you have done in the practices thus far. We use Letting Go and Walking into the Future to encourage us to see our lives in God as deeply connected even more than our stories and questions would suggest. Both exercises have a sacramental quality. They support our response to Gods calling of us to awakening and deep renewal. They open us to a future that is distinct from the past. This is a core intent of VocationCARE to take our rst steps into that future.
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Letting Go and Walking into the Future work best in large groups, but you can also use them in smaller gatherings. Since these are visionary exercises, you will use them more infrequently than the L.I.V.E. model presented within this section. But they are instrumental in creating a space for theological reection. We nd them especially valuable for a congregation-wide practice of visioning how God is interacting with your church and discovering where God is calling you to be in Gods greater story. We suggest you use these practices in one of your initial meetings at the end of story telling or after asking self-awakening questions. You can also do these exercises at regular intervals with the L.I.V.E. model.

The Letting Go Exercise


holy listening and testimony put us back in touch with our deep values, realigning or tuning our minds, hearts and wills to what really matters most. Self-awakening questions help sharpen our attentiveness to where and how the holy Spirit is moving in our individual and collective lives. But with a human nature that is often resistant to change, there is yet another discipline we need to practice Letting Go. Letting go of old habits of the heart, mind and will is necessary before we are really ready to let new ideas and inspirations ll us and move us into the future. This practice helps us empty our old wine skins and make room for the new wine, or the creativity and joy of Pentecost (Luke 5:33-39, Matthew 9:14-17 and Mark 2:18-22). Letting Go is an opportunity to suspend patterned ways of knowing that may be stuck, or that serve as a crutch that we no longer need. Letting Go is aimed at our tendency to exercise sole control over our lives. It is an invitation to the renewing work of the holy Spirit which holds our lives, both the good and the bad, and offers transformation.
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Seated in a chair, take a moment to center yourself. Take a few deep breaths, in and out. Get yourself ready to be present to this moment. Find a place on your seat that you can grip with your hands. Imagine that there is zero gravity in this room and the only way you can stay in your chair is to hold onto it for dear life. Imagine that if you let go you would oat away. Dont stop holding the chair. Close your eyes and begin to imagine a negative belief you have about yourself or something you are ashamed of. Now, holding your chair even more tightly, imagining that you are holding on to this negative belief. Hold it tightly for eight seconds as if your very life depended on it.
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Now, as you release your grip on the chair, also release this negative belief. Experience the belief oating away, up away from your body, over your head, through the ceiling and into the sky. Let it go. Un-tether it. Feel yourself being untied from it. I Now imagine a positive belief about yourself or something you are really proud of. I Grip it tightly as if your identity depended on it. Hold onto it tightly for eight seconds. I Now release it. Unhand it. Just let it go. I Next, focus on a negative opinion or judgment you have about someone in the room. I Grip it. Really hold onto it tightly. Tense your muscles as you concentrate on this negative opinion. I Now, release it. Open your hands and let it go. I Focus on a positive opinion, something you like or admire about someone in the room maybe a quality that you are envious of or wish you had. I Grip it. I Release it. Let it go. I Now focus on a negative belief you have about the church. Something you think is perhaps a major, unsolvable problem. I Pour your energy into gripping this negative belief, this problem. Really feel yourself focused on its power. I Let it go. Feel it release. I Now focus on a positive belief you have about the church. Something you think is wonderful and gives you hope about the future. I Allow yourself to feel the energy of your hope, your desire, in the way you hold it tightly. Grip it. Hold it for eight seconds. I Now, release it. Let it go.
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A Walk into the Future Exercise


A Walk into the Future is a guided, embodied meditation. The exercise is intended to slow us down long enough for an encounter with God. It supports envisioning a glimpse of the future within us that is waiting to emerge, an echo from Lukes Gospel that the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). Throughout the Christian story, we nd ordinary people who have done extraordinary things because of their encounter with the holy. We cannot enact what we have not rst seen within us and among us. When we engage this meditation, we become more aware of the presence of God and more conscious of the deeper longings within us.

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THR OUGHOUT THE CHRISTIAN STORY, WE F IN D OR DIN A RY PEOPLE WHO HAVE DON E EXTR A OR DINARY THINGS. This process suggests that the seeds of the future represent a deeper longing that is grounded in our sense of vocation and call, and formed in community. We have a responsibility to pay attention to what God seeks to do through us to bring about this future and the role we can play in it. This future is planted in the stories we have heard and shared. It represents opportunities for ministry invitations to do Gods healing work in the world. The rst step to enacting the future requires that we practice cultivating a capacity to see a compelling future worth enacting. The visionary space this exercise invites us to has been described by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline as an inner gate, one that requires us to drop the baggage weve acquired on our journey When this threshold is crossed collectively people offer many different accounts of the experience. Some talk about extraordinary creativity, some about almost boundless energy, yet others about a dialogue where people forget who is saying what Getting to that different place, which allows presencing to occur, begins as we develop a capacity to let go and surrender our perceived need for control.
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Find a comfortable place and position. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Release. Free your mind of your worry, concern, questions, excitement or enthusiasm. Open your mind, heart and will. Now journey down from your head into your heart. Try to become in tune with your feelings and surroundings. Imagine standing at a doorway of a possible future where your church is caring for vocation and enacting opportunities for people to explore their sense of purpose. Is it a future where young people are responding to a call to ministry and leading the church in your context?

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First 10 minutes:
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Take one step forward. What do you see past that doorway into the future? Step through the threshold of the doorway into the future. Turn around 360 degrees. What do you see? Whats different? Who is there? What are people doing? How are people relating to each other between generations? What is the mood of the community? How are you feeling? What are the sounds? How are you and others caring for vocation in young people and adults who work with them?

Next 10 minutes:
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From that future place, look back through the doorway to the past and nd yourself. What advice do you give to your past self to move toward the future you see? Walk back through the doorway and return again to the present. Write what you saw, felt and heard. Be as specic as you can about the images, feelings and activities that took place in your vision.

Activity after the Letting Go and A Walk into the Future Exercises
using your journal notes, construct a set of post-it notes (green) that reect, in a single word or phrase, what you saw when you walked into the future and another set of post-its (orange) acknowledging by word or phrase the things you let go of as you moved across the threshold (the doorway) into the future. When everyone posts their notes on the wall of your practice space together with the rst set of post-it notes from your storytelling/self-awakening questions exercise you construct an emerging portrait of yourselves as a church together, a Fifth Gospel, so to speak, one that may indicate the future that wants to be born. Take a walk through this gallery of post-it notes and see what themes emerge. In this constellation of expression, themes are apt to repeat themselves and connect with others. Take some time to discuss together what you saw, felt and connected to in the wider context of Christian discipleship. Also discuss whether you were provoked to do something new or embrace a new
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habit of being because of what you saw, felt and discovered. One way to illuminate what is emerging from this gallery wall is to follow the L.I.V.E. model in practice three, Reect Together Theologically on Self and Community . Another way is to engage a kind of lectio divina or holy reading of the wall, especially of common themes, to hear more deliberately what God is saying to your gathered community. What words or phrases stand out or which ones hold invitations, not just for individuals but for everyone to consider?

Reect Together Theologically on Self and Community


P R AC T IC E 3 :
Our third practice is a disciplined way to put our lives and experiences in conversation with our religious heritage. We look for the places where our stories intersect with Gods story. We let our questions act as a bridge to wonder about how God might be present to our deep ponderings and longings about our life and its purpose. WE L OOK F OR THE PLACES WHERE OUR STOR IES IN TERSECT WITH GODS STORY. The Scriptures present stories that serve this reecting together. From the new Testament, we look again at the story of the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35) to ask ourselves how Jesus is present and walking among us in our practice together. We may also turn to the story of the Woman at the Well (John 4: 5-30) as an example of how Gods story intersects with a very human story about the longing to be known as we really are.5 You can also use stories from the hebrew Bible to help your reection, such as the story of Jacobs dream-vision at Bethel (Genesis 28: 10-17), where he recognized that surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. Or, you might use the story of Jacobs wrestling with the divine being at Peniel (Genesis 32: 22-32) and Jacobs discovery that he has looked into the face of God and lived. The call stories of Moses, Samuel, Isaiah and Mary are other possibilities.
5

Thanks to the Rev. Cynthia Hizer, Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, for this description of John 4.

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however, the best references, biblical or otherwise, occur spontaneously in your reection together. Our stories have almost automatic associations, not only with Scripture but also with hymns, spiritual practices, poetry and other memories that we associate with the Holy. These help us view our stories and questions with an even greater appreciation of Gods work and presence. Reecting together theologically is intended to be habit-forming for your work with pastoral interns. It can also be incredibly fruitful in your life as a congregation. Taken together, the four VocationCARE practices create a structure for practicing discernment that places the exploration of vocational ministry in a conversation of learning and listening to the holy Spirit speaking through one another, indicating through that conversation where or to what an individual or community is called or what action to take.

The L.I.V.E. Model for Reection

L.I.V.E. is an acronym for the steps you move through in the VocationCARE practice of Reecting Together. Briey described, these are: 1. Listen carefully to the story from Scripture. Breathe deeply and allow yourself to be fully present to the story. Allow it to wash over you with the expectation that God is somewhere present to your own life. Listen to the nuances, images, colors, smells and sights in the story. 2. Immerse yourself in the feelings and associations of the story, as well as the feelings that the story evokes. A good way to uncover feelings is to pay attention to your body. Did you identify with anyone (or more than a single person) in the story? What stories from your life does it recall? 3. View the Story In Wider Perspective. Open your vision to see where this story connects with larger stories. how does this story remind you of what you know about God? how does it challenge what you know? Is there any association from the Bible, a snippet of a sermon, or a line from a hymn, song or poetry that you have absorbed? Does it connect with a holy memory from childhood or another time from your life when you felt at home in Gods universe? What does God look like as you ponder this story through a wider lens? 4. Explore aha moments and actions or attitudes to which the story and your reection call you. Is there something from reecting on this moment that you want to take with forward with you into the day, and into your life? Is there some action, large or small, that you would like to take today in response to this story or to Gods call in your life?
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Examples of this method can be found in the book The Barefoot Way: A Faith Guide for Youth, Young Adults and the People who Walk with Them by Dori Baker (Westminster John Knox Press, 2012).

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Ways to use L. I.V. E.


1. In circles of people called together to help pastoral interns process their experiences, invite interns and church members to write a story, using this prompt: Tell a story about a time when your gifts were used in Gods work. use the steps of L.I.V.E. to awaken the connections between your callings and biblical calling. 2. At the end of the day on a mission/service trip, ask someone to tell a story about a place where you experienced God today. Practice the steps of L.I.V.E. when the story has been told. 3. In a youth group, Sunday School class, or intergenerational gathering, invite and collect stories from everyone at the beginning of a season. Set aside 30 minutes at the beginning or end of the session to practice the steps of L.I.V.E. with a different story from week to week. 4. Watch a lm or a clip from a lm or view a play to name the connections between the plot and characters and the stories of our lives, and the threads of Gods story as revealed through Scripture, tradition and our everyday experience. You may nd, with repeated practice, a built-in capacity and inclination to this kind of reection. It will strengthen awareness of the movements of God in your life and your movement in the life of God, individually, and as a community. Through repeated practice, you will develop antennae for the presence and movement of the holy Spirit. THR OUGH R EPEATED PRACTICE, YOU WILL DEVEL OP A N TEN N AE FOR THE PRESENCE A N D M OVEM EN T OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The VocationCARE practices will have a number of possible applications in your congregation or ministry context. Your use of them with pastoral interns may be only a beginning. You can practice VocationCARE in other settings and connections with young people, especially those that foster intergenerational conversation. VocationCARE has a cumulative capacity to provoke discoveries that demand action. These discoveries identify a future to be explored and lived, IF we allow ourselves to be led toward seeing and planning the future that God creates through us.

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VOCATIONCARE HAS A CUMULATIVE CAPACITY TO PR OVOKE DISCOVERIES THAT DEMAND ACTION. This is what organizational expert C. Otto Scharmer calls presence-ing. It is being present to the reality of our lives together, in all its potential and limitations. It is a way to access the future that the holy Spirit longs to see enacted. The exercises we have done to this point are experiential introductions to this kind of presence-ing. They create in us an ability to envision a compelling future worth enacting. They are spiritual exercises that prepare us to think like designers in Gods company.

P R AC T IC E 4 :

Enact the Next Faithful Step

now we will introduce a design process that will help you Enact the Next Faithful Step. These faithful steps are applications of VocationCARE in contexts of your congregation or ministry, beyond internships. It is a process for developing and putting esh on that thing you are given to do by God what you discern your next step to be. In VocationCARE, our stories are the key to discerning what that thing is, for us as individuals and for all of us as a community. So far you have discovered, re-experienced and mined those stories by creating space, asking self-awakening questions and reflecting together. These are ways of tracing the threads of Divine activity in our individual and collective lives. now, you can use the Design Studio process to take what you have discovered and begin to shape (with God) that new thing God is creating in the world (see Isaiah 43:18 ff.), in this case, in the lives of your interns or in your life as a congregation.

Why Do Design Studio


Your internships already have an established form and this Guide is intended to serve your program where it is today. But it may be that the VocationCARE practices spark imagination for their adaptation and use in other ways. You will want to think and plan systematically for these uses. (To see other Grant-related adaptations, go to: www.fte leaders.org/VocationCAREadaptations).

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Critical to the success of enacting the next faithful step is a core question that begins to move you toward a plan: How might the practice of VocationCARE serve us in that thing we are given to do by God? This is one example of a design question. Your design question becomes the anchor for brainstorming and solidifying ideas that give life and substance to your localized version of Gods dream for the world. HOW M IGHT THE PRACTICE OF VOCATIONCARE SERVE US IN THAT THIN G WE ARE GIVEN TO DO BY GOD? The Design Studio exercise builds on the visionary focus you have developed. It also shows how to create a blueprint for further action using VocationCARE. The blueprint will address the practical aspects of roles, organization and necessary gifts, individual and collective, to achieve your outcomes. Like the other three VocationCARE practices, the way we Enact the next Faithful Step is disciplined. It requires focus and careful listening to one another, which demonstrates that it is possible for communities to flourish and be spaces where everyone has a voice. The question of vocation applies to everyone who engages in your practice whosoever commits to take this journey together. As you move through the steps of the design process, consider referencing the Covenants of Presence as a guide to fruitful conversation and work together on brainstorming possibilities, identifying actionable ideas and choosing your goal.

Thinking Like Designers


IDEO, an award-winning global design rm in California, has a video on their version of the design workshop which can be viewed on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/watch? v =M66ZU2PCIcM. More information on IDEO and its projects is available at: www.ideo.com. You should work over the course of a day, or no more than two days in the Design Studio process. Day two enables you to sleep on and re-visit prototypes developed in day one. You may choose to work with a single design team or if your imagination as a parish or ministry context gives birth to more than one executable big idea, you can work with several teams. The steps you will follow for this process include:

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1. Brainstorming or hearing all ideas into your design space. Entertaining multiple ideas, however wild, without censoring them is an important initial step. Depending on the time you dedicate to the entire process, you should allow at least 50-60 minutes for brainstorming. This could be your Pentecost moment, a time for an outow of Divine energy before the deeper work of discerning and choosing ideas. (See Tips for Brainstorming on the following page.) 2. Choosing 3-4 Compelling Ideas. These are ideas that contain the most attractive options for a design group. They highlight your program goal and reect action steps. Choosing compelling ideas is difcult because you will need to let go of the multitude of possibilities brainstorming generates and select ideas that more actionable. These selected ideas also reflect what the holy Spirit invites you to do. Recall what the exercise, Walk Into the Future, may have opened for you in order to help with clarity and provide a way of measuring together how a common vision may be enacted (60-75 minutes). 3. Settling on One Main Idea. Choose one idea or design statement that most faithfully embodies what you want to bring to action. This involves careful listening to one another to discern that common compelling vision and the means of acting together (90 minutes suggested maximum). 4. Designing your Prototype. What can you do in the next 45-60 days to bring your goal to life in your church or ministry? Carefully review the steps and questions of Creating a Blueprint for Action on the following page. This part of your process will probably take at least two hours or the remaining design studio time. 5. Testing your Prototype. Discover feasibility for your prototype by giving a hearing. If you are a single team, nd others in the congregation vestry, church board, parish council, Christian Ed or other committee to serve as hearers. If there are multiple design teams, present to one another. Your collaboration in this work will facilitate an appreciative reception for your designs. This exercise will also strengthen your presentation with others in your context who have yet to engage VocationCARE. Ask listeners what they see or hear in your prototype that strikes them as prophetic and feasible. 6. Implementing your Prototype. The courage gathered through the CARE practices, especially the E, nds its true embodiment in your implementation. You are sharing the fruits of your prior engagement of VocationCARE. This requires its own kind of courage but it also contains a particular joy - showing what is possible for communities willing to follow the holy Spirit by listening for how the Spirit sounds through one anothers lives and calls us to deeper collective courage in the work of incarnating Gods love in the world.

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Tips for Brainstorming


I. Defer judgment: There are no bad ideas at this point. 2. Encourage wild ideas: Its the wild ideas that often create real innovation. 3. Build on the ideas of others: Think in terms of and instead of but. If you dislike someones idea, challenge yourself to build in it and make it better. 4. Stay focused on the topic: You will get better output if everyone is disciplined. 5. Be visual: Try to engage the logical and the creative side of your brain. 6. One conversation at a time: Allow ideas to be heard and built upon. 7. Let ideas ow quickly: Let your ideas come quickly and naturally and remember there is no need to make a lengthy case for your idea since no one is judging.

DESIGn STuDIO: Creating a Blueprint for Action


As you create your blueprint, use the questions below to think through all the necessary components of your idea and your plan to make it happen.
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Who is our target audience? Who do we want to engage or impact? Who do we want to participate? Who will be resistant? What is our goal? What do we want our prototype to look like? Think of tactics in chronological sequence (rst, next, then ) Your prototype will adapt the VocationCARE approach and practices. Consider these questions as you design a prototype for your strategy. 1. Is it relevant (does it matter)? 2. Is it right (does it address the root causes of the things we have to let go of in order to achieve our vision)? 3. Is it revolutionary (is it new; could it empower us and others, including young people and adults, to live more fully into what is genuine in us and in them)? 4. Is it rapid (can we develop experiments right away)?

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5. Is it rough (can we do it on a small scale right where we are in our respective contexts)? 6. Is it relationally effective (does it leverage the strengths, interests, competencies and possibilities of our networks and communities)? 7. Is it replicable (can we take it to scale in different contexts over time)? When: What time or season of the year will we implement? When will we begin and end? Where: What location will we use? Where are the opportunities? How: What support and resources do we need? Whose endorsement would help? We hope you experience the VocationCARE practices as important disciplines for forming, caring for and inspiring Christian community. Caring for the vocation of young adults in your community builds capacity and cultivates conditions that serve the spiritual journeys of young people and of congregations. This includes tapping into abilities for shared leadership. The church environment is changing dramatically. We need the assurance we are not left alone as we imagine together what God might be up to. This involves engaging the truth of our lives. VocationCARE gives to the church the power to engage this truth together. It indicates that more urgently than ever our common task is to call young leaders, renew the church and change the world.

This is a theology which does not stop with reecting on the world but rather tries to be a part of the process through which the world is transformed.
GUSTAVO GUTIRREZ
A T H E O L O G Y O F L I B E R AT I O N

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Support
CHAPTER 4

SUPPORT
Support for your internship is composed of four principle parts:
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Planning Recruitment Care and Compensation Funding

The size and scope of your program will determine the depth and detail needed in each area. For example, a six-week introduction to ministry for high school students in the congregation needs less attention to recruitment than a program that hopes to attract students from campus ministries throughout the state. This is not to say that the program for high school students requires no attention to recruitment. Even though it is simple and close to home, it will benet from a careful consideration of how the opportunity is promoted and how students are selected. The same holds true for the other facets of support.

Planning
There is a direct relationship between the quality of preparation and the quality of the internship experience for everyone involved. Good planning contributes to coherence and consistency among all of the parts of the internship: the vision, the curriculum, supervision and all of the people and resources that are necessary to make it happen. It ensures that everyone involved has a common understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and what it will take to get there. Good planning also protects you from the tyranny of the urgent once the internship begins. Your intern will arrive right in the middle of normal work and ministry in the congregation with all of its demands. If you have not made decisions about his work, supervision and support well in advance, most of your good intentions could well be swept away by a tide of too much to do. Ample attention to planning communicates to your intern that you value her presence enough that you have prepared carefully for her arrival.

STA RT E A R LY As a general rule, begin planning an internship one year in advance of your interns arrival. For instance, if you intend to host a summer internship, start the planning process in June of the preceding year.
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This timeline may seem inordinately long, especially for a program that may be as short as six or eight weeks. Even the shortest internship, though, requires a clear vision, a solid curriculum, a clear supervisory structure and a thoughtful evaluation process. And each of these elements takes time to design. Also, if you plan to recruit your intern from outside the congregation, promotion and advertising for the position should start as early as nine months in advance. At that point, you should be able to provide a basic description of the curriculum and other details such as compensation, benets and housing. Another benet of beginning a year in advance of the internship is that your planning process is happening at the same time of year that the intern will be present in your congregation. It can be hard to remember all that happens during the summer when you are in the middle of Lent. But if you start work on the curriculum as the summer ends, all of the opportunities and possibilities for an interns work are still fresh in your mind.

U SE A T E A M A P P ROAC H When it comes to planning, it takes an entire team to map out and host a successful internship intern.

The intern support team is the group of people in the congregation who spend time in reection and conversation with your intern. It is also a good idea to organize a team to help with planning and other administrative aspects of the internship. Members of this group may be a part of the intern support team or play other supporting roles with your intern but their primary responsibility is to prepare for the internship, to gather resources and to build awareness and momentum for the program within the congregation.

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A planning team commits to:


I I I I I

Develop the vision and plan the curriculum Publicize the internship and recruit candidates Manage the interview and selection process Coordinate housing and hospitality Evaluate the program and propose revisions

In these roles, the planning team provides support for the pastor or staff member who is responsible for the internship. Convening a planning team is a good way to ensure that no one gets overwhelmed by the work. It is also another great way to engage a larger part of the congregation in the ministry of raising the next generation of leaders for the church.

Recruitment and Selection


Some congregations attract interns from around the country. Other congregations focus on looking in their own pews. Regardless of where you nd your interns, it is important to look for young people whose interests and passions are a good match for the internship that you have designed. A good match increases the chances that everyone involved in the program intern, supervisors and internship team alike will have an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Creating this good match means being attentive to how you recruit and select interns.

C R E AT E A N I N T E R N SH I P DE S C R I P T I ON The rst step in recruitment is developing a description of the internship and of the young person who will be a good candidate for the program. This is how you will communicate what you have to offer.

THE F IR ST STEP IN RECRUITMENT IS DEVELOPING A DESCR IPTION OF THE INTERNSHIP. To create a description, draw from your vision and curriculum to draft a short summary of the basic elements of the program such as goals, a sample of activities and responsibilities, and the ministry areas the intern will serve. Describe unique aspects of the program, your congregation or your context. Will the internship include an outdoor ministry component? Is your church in an urban or rural setting? Do you have a strong youth program or a rich practice of Christian education? If so, highlight those qualities for a young person who may be unfamiliar with your congregation. The description should also include information on compensation, housing and other benets.
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Once you have described the internship, describe the kind of person who will be a good t for it. This will let potential interns know if they qualify and it will also serve as helpful selection criteria if you have multiple applicants for the position. Include these categories:
I I I I

Age and/or education level Previous work or ministry experience Particular skills, qualities or accomplishments Vocational interests and objectives

Consider whether or not the intern should be a member of your congregation. When you select a young member of your congregation as an intern, you are building on the faith formation that has already taken place in the congregation. The internship experience may foster deeper support of the intern by the congregation and vice versa. It also can raise the young persons stature as a leader in the congregation. With these benets, though, comes the risk that your intern will have difculty transitioning into a different role and relationship. It may also be hard for people in the church to see this child of the church as a grown and mature person with responsibility and authority for real ministry. An intern who is not a member of the congregation may nd it easier to step into a leadership role within the congregation. With no prior history, he and the congregation see and accept each other solely in the terms of the internship and there are fewer preconceived notions.

Division of Labor
Messiah Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington, divides the responsibilities of planning and managing the internship among three groups. An internship administrative team of 4-5 people selects the intern(s) and is responsible for planning the program including the interns welcome into the community, exit interview, and farewell festivities. A separate internship support team of 10 -12 persons is assigned to each intern. The co-pastors and program staff plan and supervise the interns ministry rotation and daily tasks.

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Because of his unfamiliarity with the congregation, however, his learning curve will be much steeper. The relationship with a non-member is short-lived and the congregation may not have an opportunity for more formation and inuence beyond the tenure of the internship. One of the greatest advantages of a non-member is that he brings an outsiders perspective to the congregations life and ministry. he sees old challenges with fresh eyes and brings experience from other congregations.

P ROM OT E T H E I N T E R N SH I P Promoting the internship is an exercise in networking. Think about the people and organizations you know who have connections with the kind of young women and men that you are seeking. This includes people you know personally, such as long-time friends in ministry, or pastors and staff in congregations nearby. It also includes contacts within your denomination or tradition, like church-related colleges, campus ministers, volunteer corps coordinators or seminary admissions staff. If you have had previous interns, they are valuable advocates for your program. Create a list of potential promoters and provide them with information about your program.

PROMOTING THE INTERNSHIP IS AN EXERCISE IN NETWORKING. It takes time for news to circulate through networks, so you will be rewarded for beginning your planning process early. Promotion is not a one-time activity. You cannot rely on a single email blast or announcement in a denominational publication to carry your message to the right people. Rather, see promotion as an ongoing practice. Plan to circulate information to your contact list two or three times during the months preceding your application and selection process. Follow up personally with certain contacts that you know interact with large numbers of young people and give them a stronger sense of the aims of your program and your ideal candidate. If you are consistent with promotion over time, you may nd that you have developed a reputation and a referral network that helps you attract excellent candidates with less effort.

A P P L IC AT ION S A N D I N T E RV I E WS Once you begin actively promoting your internship throughout your network of colleagues and contacts, create a formal selection process. This will offer a fair and objective way to choose among many gifted candidates.

There are two key components to a formal selection process: an application and an interview. The application requests the initial information that will determine whether a candidate qualies for your program. The interview helps you decide which candidate among all who qualify will be the best match for your congregation and curriculum.
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THE A PPL ICATION SHOULD PROVIDE YOU WITH A SENSE OF THE IN TER ESTS AND INSIGHTS THAT ARE MOTIVATING THE CANDIDATE TO PURSUE THIS OPPORTUNITY. Think of the application as a questionnaire version of the intern criteria that you developed as part of your program description. The purpose of the application is to nd out whether a candidate meets your basic requirements. You will want some general data from a candidate such as contact information, age, gender, education level and home congregation. You will also want to nd out about his background as it relates to the focus of the internship. You might ask about particular skills or talents, other jobs or internships he has held, previous ministry experience or even his spiritual journey to this point. The application should provide you with a sense of the interests and insights that are motivating the candidate to pursue this opportunity. What does he want to learn or gain from the internship? What gifts or passions does she plan to explore? What questions does he hope to answer? Your application should also include a request for references: two or more people who can verify the information provided on the application and can attest to the candidates qualications for the internship. You may ask the candidate to submit letters of recommendation from his references or simply ask for contact information so that you can communicate with the references directly. References should know the candidate well and be able to speak honestly and objectively about them. This would include pastors, campus ministers and teachers, not relatives or friends. Once all of the applications are in, it is time to select candidates to interview. The rst step is to review the applications and remove candidates who do not meet the basic criteria for the internship. If you have a small number of applications, you may be able to interview all of the eligible candidates. This is advantageous because you may discover an excellent candidate in the interview stage whose application was unremarkable. If you have a large pool of applicants, however, you may need to limit interviews to the top three or four candidates.

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L OOK F OR THE CA NDIDATE WHO DEMONSTRATES A COM PEL L IN G M IX OF CHARACTERISTICS. Consider convening a team to conduct the interview. This group can be made up of representatives from the planning team or the intern support team or both. Multiple and diverse perspectives improve your capacity to assess candidates fully. Individual team members may perceive gifts and potential (or red ags) in a candidate that others cannot see. For guidance in making the nal selection decision, remember that no single trait guarantees that the person you select will be an excellent intern. Rather, look for the candidate who demonstrates a compelling mix of characteristics that contribute to good ministry, such as compassion, intelligence, courage, imagination, perseverance, gentleness and a good sense of humor. The right candidate for your internship may or may not not be the one with the best grades, the most ministry experience or the most articulate statement of faith. The best match might be the young person who most needs what your congregation can offer in terms of encouragement, challenge, discernment and experience. Work to ensure that the application and interview process are not too extensive or onerous. You are selecting an intern for a short-term experience, not a full-time job, and the selection process should reect the demands of the position. If you need help designing a selection process, seek out a member of the congregation who has professional experience in human resources or personnel decisions. This is another important and practical way that a member of the congregation can get involved.

Recruiting through Campus Ministry Partners


Messiah Lutheran Church promotes its summer internship program on college campuses in the western United States where there are Lutheran campus ministry ofces. Messiah provides an internship description and application forms on its website and members of the internship team make personal contacts with campus pastors, emailing the internship description and application documents directly to them. The campus pastors post and publish the opportunity for all students to see, but Messiah also asks the campus pastors to play an active role in recruiting individual students, identifying junior or senior students who have the potential to be great pastors or professional church workers but dont know it yet.

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Care and Compensation


ST I P E N D S A N D S A L A R I E S The largest cost of an internship is the stipend or salary paid to your intern. With congregational budgets already stretched thin, this can present a signicant challenge to hosting an internship. Some congregations address the nancial obstacles by offering unpaid internships. Though this approach is a viable option, it suffers from a number of drawbacks. Because most students rely on part-time jobs to defray their school expenses, an unpaid internship has difculty competing with other options. Also, if a congregation does not offer even a small stipend, the intern and congregation may interpret this as a lack of interest or low priority for the program as a part of the congregations mission. And even if an intern accepts an unpaid internship, she may discover that the lack of compensation becomes a demoralizing factor over time.

For these reasons it is preferable to compensate your intern at a rate comparable to what he would earn at a summer job. Currently, a reasonable and customary wage, depending on ones location, falls between $10-12/hour. Interns who are working full-time or over a longer time frame (i.e., a full school year) often make slightly more and may receive additional compensation in the form of expanded benets. As you settle on the interns compensation, it is important to integrate the internship

Selection Processes
First Congregational Church Glen Ellyn, IL
Our interns are selected from among our congregations high school and college youth by a search committee composed entirely of lay people. Candidates are asked to write a brief essay of 500 words or less describing their interest in the program. Interns are selected then on the basis of their interest in professional ministry, their record of service and their overall level of maturity and excellence. While the supervising clergy lend their insight during the selection process, they do not participate in the nal vote. After interns are selected, the search committee serves as a pastoral relations board, meeting occasionally with the interns during their tenure.

Messiah Lutheran Church Vancouver, WA


The internship administrative team conducts a 10-20 minute phone interview with each intern candidate that is partly interview and partly this is a great opportunity to spend a summer in wonderfully healthy congregation located in a very beautiful part of the country promotion. We hope it is motivational.
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program into the congregations personnel policies. Involve the nancial or human resources administrator for the congregation early in the planning process to advise you on such issues as categorizing your intern as an hourly or salaried employee, eligibility for benets, tax questions, background checks or required employment documents. If your program includes multiple interns, it is important to have uniform standards and practices for compensation. In addition to a stipend or salary, you may choose to provide other forms of compensation to the intern. For instance, you might provide your intern with the use of a car or help cover travel expenses. Some congregations also collect an offering on their interns behalf at the end of the internship to assist with school expenses. This is a great way to increase an interns total earnings and provide a tangible expression of the congregations appreciation without burdening the program budget. This practice is usually more successful when an intern has had broad exposure to the congregation, working in several areas of ministry.

RO OM A N D B OA R D Another way to enhance compensation for your intern is to provide room and board, especially if she is traveling from out of town. Interns who do not have contacts in the area will not be in a good position to arrange their own housing and the congregations assistance can be a great benet.

The most common approach is to locate a host family with whom your intern can live for duration of the internship. The meals and housing provided signicantly reduce his cost of living and it is a great way to involve members of the congregation. The interns presence in a members home brings her into the very heart of a familys life and provides another source of support. It is important to balance the comfort of the intern with the comfort of the host family. The arrangements should provide your intern some measure of privacy, independence and personal space. The family dynamics and setting should make her feel at ease. And the responsibilities of hosting should not be too difcult or disruptive for the family. Do they have the necessary nancial resources? Can they accommodate the schedule and lifestyle of a student intern? Recognizing that hosting a guest for eight to ten weeks can be a signicant commitment, some congregations have their interns rotate among two or three host families.

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Occasionally, conicts can arise between the intern and the host family, so it is important to check-in with your intern regularly. Supervisory sessions are a great time to do this. Be prepared with back-up arrangements in case the situation does not work. Celebrate and recognize your intern before the congregation as a whole, and remember to express appreciation for the host family as well. Acknowledge the important contribution they are making. It is also appropriate to help defray food costs or other expenses with nancial support. This and public expressions of gratitude increase your chances of recruiting a host family for the next intern. If you cannot provide a host family, it is reasonable to expect an intern to contribute toward her own housing costs, but the congregation will need to subsidize some of the expenses. If you host more than one intern at a time, you may be able to rent an affordable apartment or house for the interns to share. Shared housing reduces costs and provides a space for mutual support between the interns. When arranging accommodations, however, make sure to take gender dynamics and personal boundaries into account and be prepared to resolve conicts that may occur. Regardless of his housing arrangements, your intern will bear some responsibility for his own food costs. Still, it is a good idea to look for opportunities to help him stretch his budget. This might include asking members of the congregation members to host your intern for dinner occasionally or having staff members taking him to lunch regularly. This can make a huge difference in the interns ability to save money during the internship experience.

BENEFITS Although the intern is present for a short amount of time, she is an employee of the congregation and may be eligible for benets provided to other staff members, such as health insurance. This will vary depending on your context and the circumstances of your interns employment. Include your nancial or human resources administrator in setting explicit policies about these aspects of compensation in the job description.

Funding
A stipend is no guarantee that a young person will have an experience of ministry that is formative and transformative. Still, without nancial support, the best laid plans for curriculum and supervision will remain just that plans. Funding for your program will be determined by the particular capacities of your congregation.
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Congregations that host internship programs do not necessarily have special knowledge about fundraising or access to hidden sources of nancial support. They have simply decided that an internship is important for them and have done the hard work of nding the money that makes it possible. These guidelines will help focus your efforts.

C R E AT I NG A BU D G E T Before you begin looking for funding for your program, you will need a clear picture of what your internship costs. The rst step is to create a budget that takes into account all of the expenses that will be required to host the program.

Scan through the curriculum and the description of the internship and list all items and activities that will require funding. Then attach a cost estimate to each item or activity. This will include obvious costs like compensation and housing but may also include less visible expenses such as books, registration fees for events or mileage reimbursement. Once you have listed all of your anticipated costs, combine similar expenses into categories and indicate the total cost for each category. These include:
I I I I I I

Compensation & benets Taxes/FICA Room and board Books and materials Travel, conferences and events Miscellaneous expenses

The sum of all expense categories is the total budget for your internship. The cost of your internship will be unique to your particular circumstances, but a reasonable minimum budget for hosting an internship is $3,200. This amount will support one summer intern working for 25 hours/week for ten weeks at a wage of $11/hour and will provide a small remainder for other expenses. The cost will increase as you expand elements such as work hours or duration and add features such as a housing allowance or participation in events and conferences. In addition to the estimate of expenses, a budget includes an estimate of assets and other
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rsources that will fund the program. The total of these assets must meet or exceed the total expenses for the program. Keep in mind that monetary resources are not the only way to cover costs. For example, a host family in the congregation may donate room and board for your intern. Make sure to include contributions of this kind in your budget to indicate how the corresponding expense will be covered.

F I N DI N G T H E D OL L A R S Many congregations tackle the question of funding before they start to imagine the scope and content of an internship. We encourage you to begin instead with a vision and a curriculum, to create a compelling case for engaging partners and cultivating support from people who want to see something exciting happen in the life of the congregation.

An internship program often relies on a special source of funding outside of the normal operating budget of the congregation. This could be a designated gift from a member of the congregation with a strong interest in theological education or faith formation with young people. It could be a portion of a capital campaign designated for leadership development, a bequest to be used at the discretion of the church council or unspent funds from another project. The pastor is often in the best position to identify these non-budgetary sources of funding. he or she knows where there may be budget surpluses available or which members in the congregation would be enthusiastic about cultivating young people for pastoral ministry. non-budgetary nancial resources should only be considered as seed money or start-up funding for your internship. Once your internship is up and running, it should then be brought into the congregations general operating budget at the earliest opportunity. Doing so ensures long-term sustainability. This places the program within the oversight and responsibility of the congregations governing body, at least where funding is concerned, and raises the visibility of the program with the core leadership of the congregation. A place in the operating budget also means that the internship benets from the congregations general income and requires fewer special fundraising efforts. Most importantly, it establishes the program as an integral part of the congregations mission and ministries.
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In tough nancial times, your internship program will be subject to budget reductions and scrutiny from members who may not see it as an essential ministry of the church. For this reason, your internship needs staff and members who will champion the program during budget discussions and vouch for its importance to the larger mission of the church. Their case will be aided by positive internship experiences over time.

G E T T I NG C R E AT I V E Though securing a place in the general operating budget is ideal, you may nd that special fundraising efforts are necessary to sustain your internship programs. In some congregations, internship programs are supported by a particular group within the congregation, such as a mens or womens ministry, a Bible Study or a missions group that adopts the internship program. The group may provide nancial support directly or hold fundraising events. Fundraising ideas range from a silent auction or car wash to a congregational talent show or play. These events also do double duty for the internship, raising not only money but also the visibility of the program in the congregation.

Denominational Support for Internships


Calling 21 was initiated by Shenandoah University in partnership with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Each summer, college students from across Virginia are placed in internships that immerse them in the life of a local church, not their own, where they can discern Gods call into church leadership. Each host congregation commits to a $2,500 stipend for its intern as well as support for additional expenses such as housing and travel. Shenandoah University and the Virginia Conference support the congregations by managing recruitment and placement and providing training for supervisors. In some cases, they identify nancial resources to support an internship in a congregation that otherwise would not be able to afford it. For more information, visit the Spiritual Life pages at http://www.su.edu. In the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Board of Ordained Ministry has created The Isaiah Project, an effort to identify, encourage, and support young people who are feeling a possible call to the ordained ministry. As part of the initiative, the Board of Ordained Ministry provides funding and administrative support for congregational internships for students in college and seminary. The Board will fund half of the $4,000 stipend for a ten-week internship if the hosting congregation provides the other half. They also ask that hosting congregations provide a broad base of ministry experience for the intern, allow the intern to preach at least once and involve a lay training committee in the interns supervision and reection. For more information, visit http://www.isaiahprojectumc.com.

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Another way to generate support for your internship program is to develop partnerships with other organizations that are interested in raising the next generation of leaders for the church. Denominational ofces recognize the importance of preparing young leaders for ministry and launching initiatives that foster interest in ordained ministry. In some cases, these initiatives include nancial support for local programs but, even in the absence of funding, your denominational ofce may be able to provide other resources such as access to cooperative housing, assistance with publicity or administrative support. Campus ministries and college chaplains also have an interest in providing young people with opportunities to develop skills for ministry and leadership. It is unlikely that they can provide direct nancial support but they may be familiar with student-related resources that can contribute to the quality of your internship program. Also, some church-related colleges have programs for students interested in ministry as a career, which may include scholarships or other benets. Finally, seminaries and theological schools are keenly interested in programs that encourage young women and men to explore ministry as a vocation. They see such programs as part of their pipeline of potential students. If your program involves a seminary visit, they may have resources to help minimize that expense or eliminate it entirely. In some cases, seminaries will even provide a small grant to cover travel expenses to and from the school.

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With all the possibilities at hand, you can create a vibrant internship that is a true expression of your congregation and the formative experience it can offer a young person. here are several templates to help you plan and structure your program. In each case, these templates and checklists are meant to serve as examples and rough guides for planning. You will need to adapt them to t the circumstances and interests of your congregation.

Seven Steps for Creating a Ministry Internship


This template presents the planning process as a series of steps, each one building on the one before. Within each step, there is a list of essential tasks.
1. L AY T H E F OU N DAT I ON


2.

Gain the support of the church council and senior leadership. Convene a team to plan the internship. Develop a vision for the internship. Identify sources of funding to support the internship.
DE SIG N T H E SU B S TA N C E OF T H E I N T E R N SH I P

Decide on a timeframe for the internship. Create a rough draft of the curriculum. Create a job description for the internship. Develop selection criteria to describe the candidate who is the best match for your internship. Identify the person(s) who will supervise your intern(s).
3. DE V E L OP SU P P ORT F OR T H E I N T E R N SH I P

Create a budget for the internship. Dene compensation and benets in conversation with the congregations nancial administrator.

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Recruit members of the congregation to provide housing and other aspects of hospitality. Recruit an Intern Support Team.
4. SP R E A D T H E WOR D

Create an internship description and application materials. Identify people and organizations to serve as your recruitment network. Send the internship description and application materials to your network.
5. SE L E C T A N I N T E R N

Receive and review applications. Interview candidates. Extend an invitation. Talk further with your intern about particular interests, areas of focus and possible projects.
P R E PA R E F OR YO U R I N T E R N S A R R I VA L

6.


7.

Rene the curriculum based on the interests of your intern. Create a comprehensive schedule for the internship. Create a weekly schedule for your intern. Provide an orientation for the Intern Support Team. Make arrangements for housing, meals and transportation as needed.
W E L C OM E YOU R I N T E R N

Give the intern an orientation to working in the congregation. Set goals and expectations for internship in conversation with the intern. Create a framework of guiding practices engaging VocationCARE. Introduce your intern to the congregation as a whole.

A Sample Timeline Planning a Summer Internship


This template presents the steps of the planning process in chronological order. It provides a one-year timeline for designing and implementing an internship from the ground up. If you already have an internship underway, the timeline may be useful for scheduling essential steps such as recruitment, selection and preparing for your interns arrival.

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J U LY

Convene a team to plan the internship. Identify the person(s) who will supervise your intern(s).
AU G U ST

With the planning team and supervisor(s), develop a vision for the internship program. Identify sources of funding to support the internship.
SE P T E M B E R

As a team, develop the basics of the internship, including: - Time frame - Rough draft of curriculum - Job description - Selection criteria for intern Create a budget for the internship. Dene compensation and benets for the intern. Identify people and organizations to serve as your recruitment network
O C TOB E R

Create an internship description and application materials. Send the internship description and application materials to your recruitment network. Develop a funding request to submit in the congregations annual budgeting process.
NOV E M B E R

Work with the budget committee or governing board to establish a line item the internship in the congregations operating budget.
DE C E M B E R

Finalize available funding for the internship. Recruit members to assist with reviewing applications, interviewing candidates and selecting an intern.
JA N UA RY

Send a follow up note to people and organizations in your recruitment network. Recruit an Intern Support Team.
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F E B RUA RY

Applications are due from candidates. Review applications and choose candidates to interview. Recruit members of the congregation to provide housing and other aspects of hospitality.
M A RC H

Interview candidates. Select an intern.


APRIL

Send invitation or acceptance letter to the intern you have selected. have a conversation with your intern to discuss particular interests, areas of focus and possible ministry projects. Finalize housing arrangements with families in the congregation.
M AY

have a second conversation with intern to nalize areas of focus and ministry projects. Finalize a list of responsibilities and activities for the intern. Create a comprehensive schedule for the summer. Create a weekly schedule for your intern. Post an announcement asking families to host your intern for dinner during the summer (one family per week) hold an orientation for the Intern Support Team.
JUNE

Welcome your intern and get started!

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Sample Schedule 20-hour Workweek


This is a weekly schedule for an internship that is the equivalent of a part-time job. The intern, Mattie, is scheduled for 16-18 hours during the week. This makes room for another 2-4 hours of unscheduled work or special activities each week, such as accompanying the pastor on a hospital visit, visiting a local seminary or meeting a member of the congregation for coffee.

SU N DAY

9:00am 12:00pm Sunday Services and Activities On Sunday mornings, Mattie assists with Christian Education and has a role in worship, such as leading prayers, reading Scripture or assisting with Communion. 5:00pm 7:00pm Dinner with Intern Support Team (every other week)
M ON DAY OF F

T U E SDAY 12:00pm 2:00pm Supervision and Reection

Mattie and her supervisor meet each week for two hours. Over lunch, they discuss work-related items. They spend the remainder of the time in reective conversation. 2:00pm 5:00pm Ministry Rotation Each week Mattie shadows a pastor or staff member in one of four ministry areas: worship, Christian education, pastoral care and community ministries.
W E DN E SDAY 2:00pm 5:00pm Ofce hours

During ofce hours, Mattie works on ministry projects or prepares for weekly responsibilities such as the Senior High Bible Study or worship leadership on Sundays. 6:00pm 8:30pm Bible Study for Senior high Youth

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T H U R SDAY 2:00pm 5:00pm Ofce hours

6:00pm 8:00pm Family Dinner A different family in the congregation hosts Mattie for dinner each week.
F R I DAY A N D S AT U R DAY OF F

Sample Schedule Ten-Week Summer Internship


This nal template shows what a full internship looks like once you put all of the pieces together. In this example, the intern Taylor is coming from out of town to spend ten weeks with his host congregation. his supervisor will be the associate pastor for congregational care. In advance conversations, Taylor and the associate pastor decided that he would focus in two areas: senior adult ministry and worship. Taylor will assist with GoldenAge, the congregations eldercare program built around a community lunch on Wednesdays. he will also join the senior adult class on Sundays and accompany his supervisor on pastoral visits to older members who are sick or shut-in. In his worship responsibilities, Taylor will join the Worship Team for their weekly meetings to plan for the coming Sunday. he will have a leadership role in worship each week and will preach twice during the summer. As a ministry project, he will also interview members of the congregation about their experience in worship. These interviews will inform the Worship Teams consideration of some changes to worship that would integrate more traditional elements into their predominantly contemporary style. Taylor is scheduled for 18-22 hours of work each week but will probably do another 3-4 hours of work outside of his schedule. he meets with his supervisor for two hours each week one hour on Monday for supervision and one hour on Thursday for reection. he is in the ofce for four hours each Wednesday and Thursday, working on his ministry

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project or preparing for weekly responsibilities. In the fourth week, Taylor joins the annual intergenerational mission trip to the Red Lake Reservation where members do home repairs and host a day camp for children on the reservation. Members of the congregation play an active role in Taylors internship. he has an intern support team that meets with him over dinner every other Sunday evening. his supervisor also helped him recruit a sermon reection group that meets with him during the weeks following his two sermons for feedback and discussion. Three families provide housing for him over the course of the summer and, every other Tuesday, a family in the congregation has Taylor over for dinner. Taylor is a little concerned about earning enough during the summer, so he asked about working part-time outside of his internship. A member of the congregation offered to let him work at his business for ten hours each week, ling and archiving documents. Taylor works there on Tuesdays and Fridays.

WEEK 1

Saturday Sunday

Taylor arrives and settles in with his rst host family Sunday Worship Taylor is introduced to the congregation Lunch The planning team and intern support team meet Taylor Orientation Introduction to the church ofce Supervision First conversation to discuss goals Worship Team Meeting Off GoldenAge Eldercare Program Supervision Second conversation to nalize goals Reection First conversation to set guiding questions Off Off

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday Friday Saturday

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WEEK 2

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class Worship Leads corporate prayer Supervision Worship Team Meeting Off Dinner with a family in the congregation GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Reection Ofce Hours Off Off

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

WEEK 3

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class. Worship Leads the opening litany. Dinner with the intern support team Supervision First conversation about sermon preparation Worship Team Meeting Off GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Reection Pastoral Visits Joins his supervisor on visits to hospital and shut-ins Ofce Hours Interviews for worship project

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday

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Friday

Workshop Taylor attends a workshop on the Enneagram of Personality offered by the congregations counseling center. Taylor moves to his second host family.

Saturday

WEEK 4

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class Worship Reads Scripture Departs on mission trip to Red Lake Reservation Mission Trip Mission Trip Worship project interviews with members on the trip Mission Trip Reection Mission Trip Return from mission trip

Monday Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

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WEEK 5

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class. Worship Leads the Confession. Dinner with the intern support team Supervision Mid-point evaluation of goals Second conversation about sermon preparation Worship Team Meeting Off GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Reection Pastoral Visits Joins his supervisor on visits to hospital and shut-ins Ofce Hours Interviews for worship project Off Off

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

WEEK 6

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class Worship Preaches his rst sermon Supervision Worship Team Meeting Off Dinner with a family in the congregation GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Sermon Reection Group Meets to discuss rst sermon

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

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Thursday

Reection Ofce Hours Interviews for worship project Off Taylor moves to his third host family.

Friday Saturday

WEEK 7

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class. Worship Taylor gets a break from worship leadership. Dinner with the intern support team Supervision Worship Team Meeting Off GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Reection Pastoral Visits Joins his supervisor on visits to hospital and shut-ins Ofce Hours Begins summarizing ndings from interview project Off Off

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

WEEK 8

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class Worship Assists with Communion. Supervision Discuss format and instructions for nal evaluation Worship Team Meeting Presents summary of interviews

Monday

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Tuesday

Off Dinner with a family in the congregation GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Seminary Visit Taylor, supervisor and two other college students in the congregation take an overnight trip to visit a seminary. Off Off

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

WEEK 9

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class. Worship Preaches his second sermon. Dinner with the intern support team Supervision Worship Team Meeting Off GoldenAge Eldercare Program Ofce Hours Sermon Reection Group Meets to discuss second sermon Reection Pastoral Visits Joins his supervisor on visits to hospital and shut-ins Ofce Hours Begins summarizing ndings from interview project Off Off

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday

Thursday

Friday Saturday

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W E E K 10

Sunday

Sunday School Attends a senior adult class. Worship Celebration and prayers of blessing for Taylor. Reception Coffee and pastries following worship in Taylors honor. Supervision Final Evaluation Worship Team Meeting Off Dinner An appreciation dinner for the host families and Taylor GoldenAge Eldercare Program Taylor departs for home.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday Thursday

Final Thoughts
You are now prepared to tackle everything from a year-long planning process to the details of your interns workweek. While planning is essential, it is equally true that you do not need to have everything worked out in perfect detail before you launch your program. Internships are conducive to on-thejob learning both for interns and for the congregations hosting them. Dont be afraid to get started and make changes as you go. Many congregations tell inspiring stories about learning from mistakes and improvising as they went along. SOM E CON GR EGATIONS HAVE BEGUN TO WONDER OUT L OUD WHY THEY ARE NOT CREATING A SIMILAR EN COUN TER WITH M INISTRY AND GODS CALL F OR EVERY ON E IN THE CONGREGATION. Your ultimate aim is to create an experience that introduces a young person to the joys and challenges of ministry, attunes her heart to Gods call and surrounds her with a community that celebrates her gifts for leadership and service in the Body of Christ. The important thing is to accomplish the vision that motivated you to create an internship in the rst place. Keep your eye on that destination and make corrections when you think you may be getting off course.

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If you create that kind of experience in your congregation, you may discover that the internship represents a new beginning. For many congregations, a successful internship whets their appetite to do more for their interns and increases their ambition to raise a new generation of leaders for the church. For others, a ministry internship has a ripple effect, inspiring them to think about other age groups they can inuence. And some congregations have begun to wonder out loud why they are not creating a similar encounter with ministry and Gods call for everyone in the congregation. Consider this, then, before you put into practice what you have learned: Calling can be contagious!

An Internship Was Just the Beginning


St. Lukes United Methodist Church was one of the rst congregations to take part in Calling 21, a summer internship program for college students created by Shenandoah University and the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Doug Gestwick, the pastor at St. Lukes, describes the impact the internship had on the congregation.
Toward the end of the summer, I did a short sermon series entitled My Call, Your Call, and Our Call. It began with me sharing my own call story the rst week. The next week I talked about how to discern Gods call on your life using Ephesians 4 as a model. In the third week, I concluded with a sermon on how we live into our calling together. We had an altar call at the end and more than fty adults came forward to say, Here I am, send me. At least two of them are actively pursuing ordained ministry now and I am sure more will follow. The congregation also committed to at least three more years with the Calling 21 program. The congregation is really living into helping young people clarify their call.
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Annotated Bibliography

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

A B OU T DI S C E R N I N G , I N C LU DI N G A C A L L TO M I N I S T RY

Baker, Dori.The Barefoot Way: A Faith Guide for Youth, Young Adults and the People who Walk with Them.Westminster John Knox Press, 2012. TheBarefoot Way invites people to ask big questions about living a life that matters.In Exodus 3:5, God says to Moses, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. An FTE VocationCARE resource, this book welcomes people to stand with others on the holy ground of emerging vocation. It does that one story at a time, using a process called L.I.V.E. to help glimpse God in simple, everyday moments. TheBarefoot Way is designed for individuals, face-to-face groups and online networks who want to engage in the practice of theological reflection on their emerging vocation, call and purpose. Baker, Dori. Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women. Pilgrim Press, 2005. Girlfriend Theology is a model of religious education that helps nurture voice and authentic spirituality in girls and women. It provides a healthy faith-based antidote to the dangers many girls face as they approach adulthood. The author introduces this groundbreaking method and shows how to set up a Girlfriend Theology group; discern themes within the stories the girls tell; ask or prompt theological questions; and adapt the information of the book to groups other than girls. Leaders of retreats and small groups will nd this especially valuable. Baker, Dori and Joyce Mercer. Lives to Offer: Accompanying Youth on the Quest for Vocation. Pilgrim Press, 2007. Lives to Offer incorporates the narratives of teens, popular lms and literature, and leading research in adolescent development and culture. Baker and Mercer dene vocation as the practice through which people offer their lives in response to Gods call, amid a world in need. Sensitively written and offers an approach to vocation as the central theme for youth ministry. Provides a series of concrete suggestions for activities and practices that can be integrated into youth groups and other learning communities for young people.
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Brouwer, Douglas J. What Am I Supposed to Do with My Life? Asking the Right Questions. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006. In this short, helpful book, Douglas Brouwer offers a personal, spiritual response to the vocational questions that people commonly ask. he links our true purpose to following Jesus greatest commandment love God and love your neighbor and explores how we nd meaning and purpose by living, not for ourselves, but for something larger outside ourselves. Incorporates inspirational stories of people and vocation from throughout his ministry, and includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Campbell, Dennis M. Who Will Go for Us? An Invitation to Ordained Ministry. Abingdon Press,1994. Written for all Christians of any afliation, this primer challenges readers to think seriously about the nature, role, and work of ordained ministry in the church. This wise book will help you recognize the importance of choices about theological education; understand the servant role of the ordained minister; identify the unique work and activities of the ordained minister; and clarify the types of ministers who are sought by various churches. Cetuk, Virginia Samuel. What to Expect in Seminary: Theological Education as Spiritual Formation. Abingdon Press, 1998. In What to Expect in Seminary, Virginia Samuel Cetuk looks at the various facets of theological education the call to ministry, classroom learning, community life, eld education, nancial realities, time-management challenges through the lens of spiritual formation. In each chapter, she challenges readers to view particular aspects of theological education as avenues to spiritual growth. Offering readers the conceptual tool of reframing, she draws upon psychology, Scripture, and her years of experience in theological education to help readers see both challenges and rich opportunities related to ministry and spiritual formation. Chatham, James O. Is It I, Lord?: Discerning Gods Call to Be A Pastor. Westminster John Knox Press, 2002. James Chathams Is It I, Lord? offers a conversational, personal reection on the process of discerning a call to ministry. Written by a veteran pastor and lled with moving and often funny anecdotes about ministerial life, the book provides an opportunity for reection on whether pastoral ministry might be ones proper vocation.

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Cullinan, Alice R. Sorting It Out: Discerning Gods Call to Ministry. Judson Press, 1999. Sorting It Out walks Christians of all ages through the questions and uncertainties that come with a persons call to ministry. Ideal for students of Christian colleges, Bible schools, and seminaries, this book is also appropriate for admission counselors, youth pastors and others who might be called upon to advise persons seeking Gods calling in their lives. Farnham, Suzanne, Joseph Gill, R. Taylor McLean and Susan Ward. Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community. The Christian Vocation Project in arrangement with Morehouse Publishing, 1991. This book explores the themes of call, discernment and community and their relationship to one another. It asks readers to listen to their hearts to discover their inner selves. Farnham, Suzanne, Stephanie hull and R. Taylor McLean. Grounded in God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations. The Christian Vocation Project/Listening hearts in arrangement with Morehouse Publishing, 1999. A discernment guide that presents a new model for meetings to accompany groups as they ponder questions of discernment and wrestle with related issues. Through this prayerful and practical guide, groups will learn how to incorporate creative silence, attentive listening, imagination, intuition, scripture and prayer into routine meetings and working retreats. Fluker, Walter. Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility and Community. Augsburg-Fortress Press, 2009. For leaders and emergent leaders in business, non-prot, academic, religious and other settings. Fluker grounds leadership in story, and the appropriation of ones roots as a basis for personal and social transformation. he then explores the key values of character, civility and community for ethical action in the personal, public, and spiritual realms. Fortune, Don & Katie. Discover Your God-Given Gifts. Chosen Books, 2007. using the listing in Romans 12:6-8, this book helps readers see how these motivational gifts are the driving force in our lives, shaping our personalities and helping us serve God and others more fully. With interactive worksheets and guides, readers recognize their own unique gifts and why they act and think the way they do.

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Gallagher, nora. Practicing Resurrection: A Memoir of Work, Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace. Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. In the highly praised memoir, Things Seen and Unseen, nora Gallagher reected on a year of spiritual renewal and the fact of mortality with uncommon wisdom and grace. In Practicing Resurrection she searches for direction in the wake of her brothers death. A desire to reclaim her own wild life and a sense of the sacred in the world compels her to assess everything: her marriage, her writing career, and her commitment to parish life. Kise, Jane A.G., David Stark and Sandra Krebs hirsch. LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are. Bethany house, 2005. This updated, comprehensive guide helps people discover how God has uniquely created them. Engaging stories, inventories, self-tests, and other easy-to-use exercises make Discover Who You Are a one-of-a-kind tool. It will help those longing to nd or deepen meaning in life, considering volunteer opportunities, contemplating career changes, or desiring to become more useful to God. The book, workbook and leaders material provide everything needed for a LifeKeys workshop. Levoy, Gregg. Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. Three Rivers Press (a division of Random house), 1997. Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and powerful stories of people who have followed their own sense of call, Gregg Levoy shows us the many ways to translate a calling into action. he presents an illuminating and ultimately practical inquiry into how we listen and respond to our calls, whether at work or at home, in relationships or in service. Callings is a compassionate guide to discovering Gods calling and negotiating the tight passages to personal power and authenticity. Mahan, Brian. Forgetting Ourselves on Purpose: Vocation and the Ethics of Ambition. JosseyBass, 2002. Brian Mahan considers the question of how it is possible to create a meaningful spiritual life while living in a culture that measures us by what we have rather than who we are. Drawing on nearly two decades of teaching experience, Mahan shares stories of personal struggle and triumph that demonstrate how those who seek meaning and purpose have reclaimed their authentic selves by resolving the tension between personal ambition and spiritual vibrancy.

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Annotated Bibliography

Myers, William h. Gods Yes Was Louder than My No: Re-Thinking the African American Call to Ministry. Moving beyond ethnographic descriptions, Myers has placed call stories and narratives in theoretical perspective, relating them to traditions of hermeneutics and theological reection. Bringing multiple perspectives to bear, Myers argues that the call is not only a kind of religious hermeneutic but also a form of ritual and of narrative. neafsey, John. A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience. Orbis Books, 2006. Goes beyond commonly held notions of vocational discernment that stop at individual fulllment or destiny. A Sacred Voice offers an approach that challenges readers to recognize calling as intimately connected to the wounds and needs of the world. The vocational question, neafsey writes, has to do with identifying those for whom we hurt. Written from a Christian perspective, the book also draws from a variety of religious sources, cultural wisdoms, and philosophical traditions. The insights of Black Elk, Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Jung and Thomas Merton, among others, are offered alongside contemporary statistics and narratives. Palmer, Parker. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Jossey-Bass, 1999. A confessional and compassionate guide to seeking your true calling by listening to the voice within. In this honest and compelling meditation, Parker Palmer reects upon vocation, spirit and the life journey with a depth of insight for anyone who yearns for an authentic way of standing and serving in the world. using stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, Palmer raises the urgent question, Is the life I am living my own? The result is a moving and illuminating book. Parker, Ronald E. Do I Belong in Seminary? The Alban Institute, 1998. A clearly-written, helpful guide to the practical issues surrounding the decision to enter seminary. It is for those intending to prepare for a career in the ministry and those exploring other types of Christian leadership. The book offers a detailed and well-organized glimpse at the issues necessary for considering whether the path of seminary is the right one for you. Parker encourages an open-minded discernment process that afrms the role of communities and mentors in helping individuals to discern their vocational call. Parker reminds us that a sense of call should never be considered outside the context of realistic, faithful reection.

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A B O U T VO C AT I ON

Badcock, Gary. The Way of Life: A Theology of Christian Vocation. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2002. Beginning with the Bible, and drawing on theological sources both Protestant and Catholic, Gary Badcock develops a constructive theology of Christian vocation, rescuing it from both secular and sacred distortions. Badcock argues that Christian vocation is essentially the call to love God and neighbor. For those struggling to discover a proper sense of vocation in a society obsessed with prestige and nancial gain, this volume provides a solid, readable and theologically informed account of what it means to be called of God. haughey, John C. Revisiting the Idea of Vocation: Theological Explorations. Catholic university of America Press, 2004. This volumes ten contributors, all theologians at Loyola university Chicago, present original essays that explore vocations or callings. Authors explore the mystery of vocation in relationship to spirituality, history, doctrine, psychology or theology. The volume includes essays written from a Jewish and from an Islamic perspective. hillman, James. The Souls Code: In Search of Character and Calling. Grand Central Publishing, 1997. James hillman presents a brilliant new vision of selves not dened by family relationships or the mentality of victimization. Drawing on the biographies of such disparate people as Ella Fitzgerald and Mohandas K. Gandhi, James hillman argues that character is fate and shows how the soul, if given the opportunity, can assert itself even at an early age. The result is a reasoned, powerful road map to understanding ones true nature and discovering an array of choices from the way we raise our children to career paths and social and personal commitments. Larive, Armand. After Sunday: A Theology of Work. Continuum, 2004. Many people devote themselves to their work. But does it follow that devotion to work is bending the knee to idolatry, giving service to mammon? Could it be precisely the place to encounter the divine? This book presents a positive theological framework for a Christian understanding of work.

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Palmer, Parker. The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring. Jossey-Bass, 2001. The Active Life is Parker Palmers graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives people lead. Telling evocative stories from a variety of religious traditions, including Taoist, Jewish and Christian, Palmer shows that the spiritual life does not mean abandoning the world but engaging it more deeply through life-giving action. he celebrates the problems and potentials of the active life, revealing how much they have to teach us about ourselves, the world, and God. Placher, William. Callings: Twenty Centuries Of Christian Wisdom On Vocation. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005. This anthology gathers select passages on work and vocation from great writers in Christian history. William Placher has written insightful introductions to accompany the selections an introduction to each of the four main historical sections and a brief introduction to each reading. While the vocational questions faced by Christians have changed through the centuries, this book demonstrates how the distilled wisdom of these saints, preachers, theologians and teachers remains relevant to Christians today. Schuurman, Douglas J. Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004. Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life explores current responses to the classic view of vocation and offers a revised statement and application of this doctrine for contemporary north American Christians. According to Schuurman, many Christians today nd it both strange and difcult to interpret their social, economic, political and cultural lives as responses to Gods calling. To renew a biblical perspective, Schuurman argues, Christians must recover the language, meaning and reality of life as vocation. Schwehn, Mark R. and Dorothy C. Bass (Eds.). Leading Lives That Matter. Eerdmanns Publishing Company, 2006. Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts including ction, autobiography, and philosophy, Instead of prescribing advice, Schwehn and Bass approach the vocational process as an ongoing conversation. They include some of the Western traditions most signicant writings on human life its meaning, purpose, and signicance ranging from ancient Greek poetry to contemporary American ction. Including Tolstoys novella, The Death of Ivan Illych, as an extended epilogue, Leading Lives That Matter will help readers clarify and deepen how they think about their lives.

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Thurman, howard. The Creative Encounter. harper & Brothers, new York, 1954 (subsequently published by Friends united Press, 1972). The Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston university and mentor to Martin Luther King, Thurman wrote about religious experience as in its profoundest dimension the nding of humans by God. This is the inner witness. The moral quality (of which) is mandatory because the individual must be genuine in his/her preparation, motivation and response.

A B O U T M E N TOR I N G

hendricks, Patricia. Hungry Souls, Holy Companions: Mentoring a New Generation of Christians. Morehouse Publishing, 2006. This book helps church leadership understand and mentor young people. hendricks, director of the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation, helps to clarify the identity of young adults and the issues they face. She offers a step-by-step guide for mentoring. Johnson, Abigail. Shaping Spiritual Leaders: Supervision and Formation in Congregations. The Alban Institute, 2007. Supervision the shaping of spiritual leaders occurs formally and informally in many aspects of congregational life. This book provides a hands-on approach to supervision, addressing key areas such as identifying a learning focus, forming covenants, managing conict, understanding and using power and authority, offering and receiving feedback, and celebrating and ending the supervisory relationship. Parks, Sharon Daloz. Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose and Faith. Jossey-Bass, 2000. Building on the foundation she established in her classic work, The Critical Years, Sharon Daloz Parks urges thoughtful adults to assume responsibility for providing strategic mentoring to young people. She also reveals ways young adults are inuenced by individual mentors and mentoring environments. Sellner, Edward. Mentoring: The Ministry of Spiritual Kinship. Cowley Publications, 2002. An important contribution to understanding one crucial aspect of spiritual direction. Denes mentoring not as a profession, but as a calling and a gift that is more common than perhaps previously thought. Mentoring, says Sellner, is a form of love, a mutual relationship in which one spiritual friend helps another encounter a deeper self and enrich his or her relationship with God.
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our mission
The Fund for Theological Education (FTE) advocates excellence and diversity in pastoral ministry and theological scholarship. Through our initiatives, we enable gifted young people throughout the Christian community to explore Gods calling in their lives. We seek to be a creative, informed catalyst for educational and faith communities in developing their own capacities to nurture men and women for vocations in ministry and teaching. We also aim to awaken the larger community to the contributions of pastoral leaders and educators who act with faith, imagination and courage to serve the common good.

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