Studies show that between 60-80% of those who enter the professional ministry drop-out within the first ten years of full-time ministry.
Researchers attempting to find the cause of this alarming statistic indicate that there are a multiplicity of factors involved. Of the factors cited, a lack of regular connection and support from peers in similar ministerial contexts as well as the feeling of being ill-equipped fall near the top of the list.
The leadership of New Mercy Community Church believes that the global church can make considerable headway toward reducing this statistic and thereby more effectively advancing God’s Kingdom. We believe with proper training, discipleship and experience, pastors-in-training can garner the tools, wisdom and character necessary to becoming effective ministers of the gospel while remaining spiritually and psychologically healthy. The NMCC Internship Program is the fruit of this belief. We wish to assist the building of God’s Kingdom by equipping and training pastors.
The NMCC Internship Program employs an apprenticeship model for growth and training. Just as Jesus trained the disciples by having them dwell with him in all that he did, the pastors of New Mercy will do life together with the interns. This is more than mere shadowing. It is an engaged, interactive, fellowship/relationship-based, empowering and organic approach that will maximize both structured and unstructured learning.
Our goal is to couple intensive theological reflection with active mentoring in the context of a teaching congregation. Our internship program will share some elements with the CPE model, except that it will be a sort of “church pastoral education”, with interns engaging in deep, personal sharing as they interact with the staff, congregation and one another. Pastoral character and integrity will be explored as we engage in the practice of ministry.
The pastoral staff and members of New Mercy Community Church will share with the interns what we are learning as we build God’s church in our modern context in this particular locale.
The internship program will involve the following:
Leadership Training – Vision casting, empowering and developing lay leaders, running teams and meetings, administrative skills, character development, and so on.
Practical Theology – Applying theological knowledge in structuring down-to-earth ministry.
Discipleship – Interns will receive the collective mentorship of the pastoral staff. However, we do realize that most interns will gravitate toward one or two pastors. Discipleship will be structured to reflect this reality.
Hands-On Experience – Each intern will have the opportunity to serve in or lead ministries that interest them. In these ministries they will take a pastoral and leadership role. Interns they will also be required to take on one major administrative task as well as participate in the initiatives that require the entire pastoral team. This will ensure holistic training.
Counseling – Interns will also be required to receive counseling from supervisors and pastoral counselors to process their experiences. This will help them to debrief as well as appropriate lessons wrought out of experience.
Fellowship & Support – Interns will participate in all pastoral fellowship events (e.g. small groups, lunches, hang-outs, etc.). This will help interns to build relationships, to receive support and to experience the benefits of sharing both their struggles and joys.
Meetings – Interns are required to attend the all-pastor staff meeting every week. They will also attend and serve the mid-week prayer meeting as well as Sunday worship (barring the occasional excused absence).
Preaching – Interns will have opportunities to develop their communication skills through preaching and constructive feedback.
Contracts are tailored for each intern. We maintain the broad goals of the program while adjusting for factors such as time, schedule, goals, etc.
SUPPORT & COMPENSATION
All interns are volunteer. This means they need to find a way to meet their living needs while participating in the program. While we would love to provide for our interns, because of budget constraints, we are only able to provide a small stipend for first-year interns. We know this can be difficult for interns, but because of the tremendous value of the program both to the interns and the church, we still want to be able to offer it. As a result, we have adopted a model that a number of other churches have employed when running programs like these: the raising of support. Consequently, interns are responsible for raising their own funds or acquiring compensation from their respective schools. Also, if interns are participating in the NMCC Internship Program through a school field ed program, those students are required to adhere to the contract delineated by the school (e.g. hours on-site, etc.).
If you would like to support needs of the interns as they learn and serve, you may contribute to them by clicking on their respective names. If you donate to the "Pastoral Internship Fund", all gifts will be split evenly between all interns.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.