When you read the term internal affairs, you may immediately begin to think of shows on television like Law and Order, SVU or NCIS. Shows like this have given the Internal Affairs department a bad rep, portraying cops who prosecute others cops. However, the internal affairs department helps to enforce the law and protect the internal integrity of the organization.
Internally within a youth ministry, we often don’t have the funds necessary to hire people. So how do we find a way to effectively get the programming done in a way that still reaches young people? How do we protect the integrity of the vision that God has given us when we have a limited or no budget and personnel? In order to do this, we have to be creative. Over the years, one of the strategies that I have seen effectively done in these types of situations is the establishment of an internship program.
It is an opportunity to establish and develop student leaders. Look for students with leadership potential that can be cultivated and trained to assist in your programming. Use the talent and gifts at hand to grow your youth ministry. Below is the framework of how we establish our internship program.
The internship is designed to develop teens and young adults in all areas of life: physically, mentally, and spiritually. It aims to develop and strengthen their personal walk with God as well as endue a standard of excellence in life, both private and public. It will produce professional young adults who are equipped to enter into college, ministry, or the professional world with a firm grasp of God’s plan for their life, as well as have the tools necessary to accomplish it.
The internship includes a variety of hand on opportunities, assignments, and most of all, a conditioning of the heart towards servant leadership. The internship is a 9-month program, beginning in September and ending in June. Please keep in mind and stress that the internship does not guarantee future employment at your church.
Interns will hold office hours at the church where they will complete various projects and tasks as well as serve in special assignments needed throughout the church (i.e. Conferences, Outreaches, and other large events).
Interns make a commitment to dedicate an entire school year towards serving God in ministry. The Intern Honor Code is to be understood and signed by all interns. The focus is to develop experienced young adults who have a firm grasp of the meaning and purpose of ministry. An intern’s focus will be to serve God in ministry throughout the year by serving the vision that God has placed in your church. They will commit to doing all they do with excellence, and they will leave prepared and trained to serve in ministry or in the professional workplace.
The training received will mostly take part through their hands-on involvement in the youth ministry of your church. By the end of the internship they will have an understanding of what it takes to sustain the ministry. Additional training in ministry is encouraged from various departments within your church.
Interns will be working with media and office programs of all kinds, including, but not limited to: video editing and production, spreadsheets, word documents, database reports, graphic design. There will also be a major emphasis on clerical support. Office etiquette, phone skills, and other office skills will be taught and exercised. Interns will also become familiar with various types of office machines.
In this way, your youth ministry can create its own version of Internal Affairs, a department of students dedicated to protecting the vision of your program and enhancing the spiritual experience of the students.