One of the most commonly quoted stories in Scripture is the story of Hadassah. Wait. Who?
Hadassah was a young girl who was orphaned and then adopted by her uncle, Mordecai, and was then renamed Esther. If you aren't familiar, go ahead a take a few minutes and read the story of Esther (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Esther+1&version=NIV) in order to catch up. Long story short, Esther was put into the King's life by God's sovereignty and would be used by God to deliver the Jewish people from the hand of Haman, one of the King's right hand men who sought to kill the Jewish people in order to dispose of Mordecai, whom Haman wanted to destroy.
Esther's heritage was at this point hidden to her husband, the King. She had a couple of choices: To ignore her heritage and hope the King's decree for the death of the Jewish people in the kingdom would leave her unhurt, or to use her placement in the King's heart by the sovereign hand of God to help her people. Going in to the King's Throne Room uninvited could lead to her death merely for the King being bothered, but it was the only way she would have a chance to speak to her husband to save her people.
The famous verse quoted is while Esther is stressing about the situation before her uncle, who declares to her in chapter 4, verse 14: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Isn't that amazing? Mordecai knew 2 things: God put Esther in the perfect place at the perfect time, and if she didn't act God would still deliver His people another way. Spoiler alert: Esther prays, has her people fast and pray with her, and in a few days time approaches the king in the throne room, who in turn delivers the jewish people because of an earlier life-saving kindness of Mordecai to the King himself.
Obviously there is much more to this book that we could apply to the character of a great intern, but what I want you to catch is this: the first key to finding a great intern is a bold calling.
Much like Esther, our interns are called to our church and our city. Simply put, you can't force a calling. You can't force someone to be burdened to a group of people. If you force a calling, it will lead to burnout, frustration, and total apathy; I've even see it lead to people leaving ministry altogether.
There is a huge change however when an intern is CALLED. We have an incredibly successful intern program at Trailside, and all that is considering while we are still developing as a very young church. As a young church, we do not have financial ability to pay our interns a dime, outside of an occasional meal here or there, or a coffee during a meeting, but for our interns, calling is everything.
You may be asking yourself how in the world we have interns who are willing to come Friday afternoon and set up, serve early sunday morning, tear down our setup after church, have a meeting Sunday night, and meet throughout the week for small group as well as staff meeting. It's a difference of calling. Simply put: if they aren't called to your city and the church's vision, they won't come.
I asked our interns why they were a part of our call and willing to boldly serve and received these replies:
"There's a real change that can happen through Trailside and I want to be a part of it."
"The mission is valuable and is uncommon."
"The hard work now is worth the payoff of seeing this city change."
"It's different than anywhere I've ever been and has so much potential to make real change for the Kingdom in Travelers Rest."
The consistent theme is calling and vision. Vision is the vehicle of the call, and if you don't have a clear one, they can't be called. Our interns are amazing people who love Jesus first, and when you get the right people with a call to ministry and to a city, everything changes.
If you are seeking interns, the first step to take is to make sure they are CALLED. If you are looking for some short term paper runners and copy makers, you can find anyone. If you want to hire people who will make a difference for the Kingdom while making your ministry capability easier, the question to ask isn't availability, its calling and desire to make Jesus famous.
Next up in the series is SACRIFICE. What can you actually expect of an intern when it comes to sacrifice? Check in Thursday.