Make sure you layout a system that covers recruitment, short-term strategy, long-term vision and leadership supervision. That last point of leadership is the most important. You want to have strong leaders in place that are not only teaching the interns, but are making sure they stay on course with their spiritual journey. Remember an intern is probably going to be part of your church for just a few months. Even though your church probably has systems to help ensure a walk with Christ, no one can guarantee where they are in their walk with the Lord. That means we need to not only shepherd them through the production internship program, but as with any church ministry or outreach you need to have them aligned with people that will provide oversight and guidance. You need strong leaders that will throw a flag if they see behavior that needs correcting.Your next step is to organize the teaching. Make sure you have a system that teaches the basics all the way up to what your church considers professional level. Leave room for failure, learning and working with each person individually. Write down how your program is going to work --- a progression of steps and the goals for each step. Manage the process as one that respects each person; honors the heart of the church and promotes excellence. Remember, excellence is not a cool rock show or perfect production execution. Excellence is a consistently good attitude, hard work and a push for doing better the next time. Once you have an internship program, what is the end result ? Well the obvious result is the church has more help and the interns get to learn about production processes. You want to make sure the “help” doesn’t become more work or an additional event itself. The church needs help that moves its objectives forward and ultimately eases the burden on staff. In return, the intern should have access to real-world experience that will provide hands-on training that helps with a degree, future job opportunities and character building. Every person, whether the church is large or small, can benefit from an internship program. These programs build character and responsibility. They help teenagers and young adults determine if this is a gift the Lord has blessed them with or if they need to look in a different direction. Many times when they do look in a different direction, it’s a ministry of the church that provides them with the lighthouse to guide them through life. As they navigate their journey to find their calling they are learning the basics of an exciting and rapidly changing tech field, and in turn helping your church with additional staff and adding an influx of new ideas. Internships also teach an important principle that is the foundation of church work: it’s all about people. When people gather together and share ideas we grow as individuals, as a team and as a church.Starting an internship program may not be an easy road at first. You will make mistakes, but excellence comes by learning from your mistakes. The hard work you put into this program builds people who will better understand the mission of the church while they learn about the technologies that are shaping our world. At the same time, we can be teaching them that where two or three gather in God’s name --- no matter if it’s a small group, church or a live production internship program --- God will be there with them (Matthew 18:20).
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