Last week, I shared 5 reminders for congregations preparing to receive a vicar or intern this summer. Now we will focus in on congregations preparing to use a vicar or intern to work specifically in a youth, children’s or family ministry setting.
7 tips for congregations using a vicar or intern to work in youth ministry:
- Have a clear understanding of the intern’s role in aspects of the ministry area. For example, if your church is planning to participate in a servant event or LCMS Youth Gathering in the summer of 2016, be sure the intern, young people, and parents are clear on the role of the intern. We suggest that if the intern is investing time in Bible study, community building, fundraising, and planning for an event, they should attend the event with the participants. If this cannot be the case, communicate this arrangement early in the process.
- Internships can often come to an abrupt end. Be aware of the relationships built between interns and families of the congregation. Provide opportunities for closure and make sure proper bridges are made between the work of the intern and the incoming intern (if applicable) or the people who will carry on the intern’s ministry area.
- Technology and social media provide new opportunities for interns to have a lasting impact on the lives of young people and congregational members. God may use an intern to do amazing things in the lives of a young person and the continued relationship can be a cherished aspect in the lives of many.
- Host a parent meeting at the beginning of the school year or upon the intern’s arrival. Lay out the schedule for the year and plans for things such as confirmation, continued learning opportunities, and events.
- Create an opportunity for the intern to get involved in the lives of young people outside of church activities. Invite the intern to a high school sporting event, Christmas music concert, musical/theatre performance, etc. Interns can have a hard time knowing when and where to connect. Inviting them into such situations is a great way to help them feel comfortable.
- Instill the importance of good communication to the intern, particularly amongst church leadership, parents, youth, and members.
- HAVE FUN! Enjoy the blessings of having an intern in your congregation!