Sunday, November 20, 2005

Interns to Leaders

"The best leaders are not those who win the most followers, but those who create other leaders." - Neil Cole

I've written a lot about our SPACEintern. She is doing a fabulous job. This morning we had a quick conversation about some of the work she needs to do and maybe how she could fit it into something literal and tangible. We also talked about the birthing of new events and experiences. Those new things shouldn't be based on what is cool or fun, or missional tourism - oh that sounds like a cool place to go, just for the sake of going. Instead, our experiences (and ministry in general) should be based on where our students are and what they need. Once we have a gauge on those two elements, only then can we put together an experience that is valid. She also has to do some kind of research paper, but instead, she wants to do something that will have a tangible effect on students. And that was totally her perspective. Cool huh?

Our youth ministry actually has two other students doing internships. One of them is EmGberg, who was on my Brazil team this summer. She is doing her internship with the head of GCC's Mission Task Force, the group of people responsible for everything dealing with missions in our community. A lot of her internship has her reading and writing about the Perspectives readings. (I also wrote about ability to relate to total strangers, even in another country, here.)

The other intern is JF, who is working with our youth ministry administrator, dealing with back office administrative tasks. JF has been helping out in the office, especially of late with retreat paperwork. She is also putting together a scrapbook about her time in the ministry.

My thinking about the internships is this - the internships aren't just to have interns. The internships are about building leaders that can create and shape the future. Same deal goes with SPACE. We can rake a bunch of leaves and send teams all over the world to help missionaries, and those in and of themselves are good things. But if we are doing those things as ends to themselves, if we have interns just to help us do some legwork, we have missed the point. We should be about building leaders, about erupting the Gospel in students who live missionally, preparing students to make an impact in their community and to the nations.

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