Pastoral Internship Update

I am currently in my sixth week of my pastoral internship here at Weymouth Community Church. I intended to post an update weekly, but have been too busy to even try. Since this is my sixth week, I figured I’d give an update of the first five weeks.

The first week here I was able to go to Life Action Ministries headquarters in Michigan with the lead pastor, Dan Jarvis. Dan and a few others are leading a nationwide movement called “OneCry” that is supported by Life Action. This movement is a call for Christians across our nation to pray and seek God’s face for spiritual awakening across our country. I was able to go to the headquarters for a few days and meet with some people from across the country to discuss some of the details about this movement. It was a great time to meet other people and make some ministry connections. You can find out more about OneCry by going to their website.

Instead of continuing this update by going week by week I will share some of the opportunities and responsibility I have been given by the lead pastor. I am leading a teen guys Bible study on Wednesday nights. We are doing a study called “Habits” that walks through core spiritual “habits” that help you grow spiritually. So far it has been great and I have built good relationships with the guys. Also, I have been given the opportunity to preach many times and in many different venues. I got to preach once in retirement home and three times in the local jail. This past Sunday I preached for the first time in one of the Sunday morning services. I am preaching a few more times and once at the south campus in the next month. I have also been given the opportunity to oversee the churches missions bouquet. I have also been helping out at a ministry for students called “The Hangout.” Once of the local high schools here does not have busing so all the students hangout at the library across the street until they get picked up. Because the students were there and the library was getting kinda upset, some people started intentionally going there and hanging out with them. We have a room in the library were we provide food and games for the students so they can just hangout. Also, I have been meeting with the lead pastor weekly to go over church ministry stuff and questions my school require me to ask and report about. Along with that, I have been helping improve the media ministry of the church as well as helping the lead pastor with planning, vision, and leadership. This week I am starting to do some visiting to the shut-ins as well as praying for them. Overall, I have been extremely busy, but learning a lot! The church, and the pastor, have given me many opportunities to get practical experience and the Lord has been faithful to me and using me in many different ways.

As a side note, my school requires me to do a few projects during this internship. One of those was to read a few books. I read three books that I would recommend to anyone in anytime of church ministry: 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever, Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, Humility by C.J. Mahaney. Please continue to pray for me as I have decided to stay here longer than my ten week requirement for school. I will stay a few extra weeks to gain more experience. I am also searching and praying for my first full-time ministry job so pray that the Lord will lead me to it and open and close doors.

Simple Church

Simple Church defines a “simple church” as a congregation designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. That is what this book is about. How to design a church that is truly simple that makes it easy to move people through a discipleship process. Simplicity is the key to a successful organization. Simple Church contains stories of popular companies such as Google, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Papa John’s that know this truth; simplicity works. Not only do these companies know this, but also growing, vibrant churches do to! Simple Church tells us about two churches. One is simple and one is complex. One would assume the complex churches would be the growing vibrant church, but that is not so. The simple church is the one that is actually growing and is vibrant. The complex church is struggling and not seeing growth. In Simple Church the writers give four things that are essential to a simple church. Those four things are clarity, movement, alignment, and focus.

Clarity

Movement

Alignment

Focus

Instead of defining each of those and describing how they make up a “simple church” I will let you read the book and find out for yourself. One might be wondering if this “simple church” model actually works. The writers answer that question by providing three churches that are “simple” as examples that the simple church model actually does work. These three churches are Immanuel Baptist Church, Christ Fellowship, and Northpoint Community Church. These three churches are truly “simple churches” and are proof that a simple church model is both possible and effective.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone in church leadership, especially pastors. In the last chapter, the writers gives a call for churches to “change or die.” Too many church are dying because they are complex, busy, and not simple. Simple churches are not dying. It may be hard, but we need ti simplify our churches so we can see more spiritual growth.

Another great church ministry I just read is 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. You can read my review of that book here. Next book on my list is Humility: True Greatness by C.J Mahaney. After I read it I will post a review here on my blog.