Developing Servant Leaders Through Pastoral Experience

The goal of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (FEC) Internship and Residency Program is twofold.

First, the program strives to develop future ministry leaders by providing them with opportunities to learn and apply ministry skills in a hands-on environment. This training takes place under the supervision of local church or affiliate staff members, who also evaluate the performance and progress made by their interns and residents.

Second, the program provides a wonderful opportunity to organizations that have a genuine desire to disciple and train future church leaders and pastors. Host organizations benefit from having a consistent source of motivated future professionals who provide new perspectives and what might be another welcome pair of helping hands. Hosts also experience the joy of helping interns and residents begin their journey down the path they’ve chosen.

As a whole, the FEC Internship and Residency Program is intended to be a valuable educational and ministerial experience that benefits both interns and residents and the organizations that host them.

There are many individuals interested in ministry, but they must meet some requirements to participate in the FEC Internship and Residency Program. However, the most important prerequisite is that they genuinely feel they’re being called to ministry, or are seriously investigating God’s call to ministry on their lives.

Hosting organizations, in turn, are charged with integrating the gifts and talents of interns and residents through the performance of meaningful ministry activities. In other words, interns and residents should be engaged in activities they could use if they were in a full-time ministry position, and ongoing training and supervision must be provided.

As an established, highly successful program, the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches Internship and Residency Program provides churches and affiliates and interns and residents with unparalleled opportunities for learning and service.

Questions to ask yourself before seeking FEC funding

  1. Am I ready to mentor the next generation of pastors and church leaders?
  2. Do I sense God calling me to lead in this way?
  3. Are there any hidden things in my life that would disqualify me from mentoring if they were known?
  4. Can I make the time available to effectively mentor an intern by spending time with him or her, bringing him or her along to meetings, encouraging the intern in his or her spiritual and ministerial growth, etc.?
  5. Is my spouse supportive of my decision to serve in this capacity? Is my spouse supportive of the intern whom I will be mentoring?
  6. Is the host organization’s leadership aware and supportive of my plans to mentor an intern?
  7. Am I aware of anyone within the church family who would consider me unqualified to serve in this capacity due to unresolved conflict?
  8. Will I be able to share ideas and helpful suggestions without being “threatened” by excellent performance on the part of the intern?
  9. Do I feel prepared to serve as a guide, counselor, model, and consultant to the intern?
  10. Can I make the time to encourage good study habits and a pastoral devotional life in the intern?

General guidelines for host organizations

  • A genuine desire to disciple and train a future church leader and pastor.
  • A sensitivity to the “testing and proving” of both the intern’s call to ministry and his or her understanding of the call.
  • A willingness to dialogue and provide fellowship to the intern, initiating contact on a regular basis for evaluation, planning, discussion, and prayer.
  • Supervise a reading program worked out cooperatively with the intern.
  • Share specific assignments that meet the written job description.
  • Arrange social and recreational times together.
  • Share ideas and helpful suggestions without being “threatened” by excellent performance.
  • Let the intern accompany you to board and committee meetings, where learning experiences can be anticipated.
  • Clarify lines of responsibility within the Hosting staff, officers, and leaders.
  • Provide opportunities for the intern to preach and teach and to participate in special services, e.g., communion, special days, weddings, funerals, pastoral and hospital visitation, etc.
  • Make an accurate report on the form for evaluation at the end of the internship.
  • At all times, serve as a guide, counselor, model, and consultant to the intern.
  • Seek to encourage and develop in the intern:
    • Good study habits
    • A pastoral devotional life
    • How to moderate conflicts and various kinds of people related problems
    • Sensitivity to the priority of people relationships over program implementation
    • How to sense needs and anticipate problems, and how to respond appropriately
    • How to evangelize personally
  • A genuine desire to disciple and train a future church leader and pastor.

Internship and Residency Program Booklet

Ready to apply – as a host organization?