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THE INTERNSHIP MENU The Value of Missionary Internships.

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Presentation on theme: "THE INTERNSHIP MENU The Value of Missionary Internships."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE INTERNSHIP MENU The Value of Missionary Internships

2 Gary L. Green ► B.S., University of Louisiana at Monroe ► D.V.M., Louisiana State University ► M.A.R., Harding Graduate School of Religion ► 1 year, Desamparados, Costa Rica ► 8 years, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela ► 5 years, Abilene Christian University  Latin American Missions Coordinator  WorldWide Witness Program


4 What is a summer internship?  Summer internships are 6 - 10 week mission experiences conducted under the oversight of an experienced mentor on the mission field.  Any person from any major can apply to participate in an internship.  Not a vacation; more than a campaign; challenge to go and personally experience mission life.

5 EXPECTATIONS 1. Online application with references & bio. 2. Attend spring retreat & weekly training. 3. Find supporting church and raise funds. 4. Go as learner & ambassador to the field. 5. Participate in debriefing upon return.

6 GOALS 1. MISSION: Hear God’s call. 2. FAITH BUILDING: Observe God at work. 3. SPIRITUAL FORMATION: Develop the heart of Christ. 4. SERVICE: Assist missionaries and churches. 5. EXPOSURE: Experience “real life” missions.

7 Be Mentored Language learning Youth ministry Campus ministry Personal evangelism Visitation Teaching Preaching VBS Campaigns Other What will I actually do during the internship?

8 LATIN AMERICA: Brazil (3), Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico AFRICA: Uganda (3), Tanzania, Ghana, Burkina Faso ASIA: Thailand (3), Japan OCEANA: Australia (2), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea EUROPE: France, England (2), Croatia, Germany DOMESTIC: Atlanta, Bronx, Miami, Denver, Portland Where can I go?








16 STM Internships The Global Impact of Short Term Missions  Survey of opportunities  Standards of excellence  On the field impact The Value of Missionary Internships  The internship menu  The value to those who go  The value to the receiving church Preparing for Short Term Missions -Survival guide -Key issues -Tools for digging deep fast

17 Why bother with internships?  Explore and clarify your career goals, so you'll know if the field is right for you.  Develop knowledge, competencies, and experience related to your major and career interest.  Gain practical experience.  Take responsibility for your own learning  Establish a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references for after graduation. ► Source: Job Choices, 1999 at (Arizona State University)

18 ► "as an intern you will be given the opportunity to prove yourself and find out if this is the career path you want to follow. You can learn a lot during an internship that you wouldn't get exposed to until after graduating. This is a unique exploratory opportunity for each student." ► "as an intern you will be given the opportunity to prove yourself and find out if this is the career path you want to follow. You can learn a lot during an internship that you wouldn't get exposed to until after graduating. This is a unique exploratory opportunity for each student." ► The Value Of Internships And Co-op Opportunities For College Students by Linedda Cates-McIver at

19 ► "When you're an intern it's an opportunity to not be the person responsible. But you're still close enough to the action that you can see everything that happens... I had a chance to learn a lot of the things that don't work so well in my field. I learned where there were barriers and where there were miscommunications. And because I wasn't right in the middle of them, I learned to recognize them before they became crises." ► The value of internships from some who've been there By David Lyman September 5, 2004 at m

20 Internship Trend ► At Boston College, 63% of the 1995 graduates had participated in an internship. ► 2002, 89% had participated in an internship. By Diane E. Lewis, Globe Staff, 4/13/03 at rn.html

21 Internship Trend ► More than 55% of those hired by manufacturers have internship experience. ► (National Association of Colleges and Employers Spotlight; 11/102) at ternships.htm

22 Internship Trend Penn State School of Information Services and Technology, pageID=559

23 Internship Trend ► The sociologist Christian Smith, based on national random survey data, reports that 29 percent of all 13- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. have "gone on a religious missions team or religious service project," with 10 percent having gone on such trips three or more times. That is, his data indicates that far more than 2 million 13- to 17- year-olds go on such trips every year. ► From: Robert Priest, To: Kurt Ver Beek

24 Internship Trends ► Short-term mission trips to foreign countries are the biggest trend to hit the evangelical Christian outreach scene since vacation Bible school. Between 1 million and 4 million North American Christians reportedly participated in STMs in 2003, and the number keeps rising. ► Christianity Today, Week of June 20, Study Questions Whether Short- Term Missions Make a Difference by Abram Huyser Honig Christianity Today, Week of June 20 Christianity Today, Week of June 20

25 Personal Experience ► ACU applicants  Youth ministries, university internships, study abroad  Examples ► As youth group members  Costa Rica, France, New Zealand ► As university students  Santiago, Chile; Bronx, USA; Mbale, Uganda; Nottingham, England

26 ► Erin Richmond, Sydney, 2004  The internship changed my views of the world and evangelism. It showed me how small the world truly is and how big God is. I also learned that for the majority, people are all the same... even if they are on the other side of the world.”

27 ► Brent Hines, New Zealand, 2004  “My relationship with God increased tremendously and I know that my life’s purpose is to build up the church.”

28 Lyndsey Epley case  Became a Christian as a junior in high school & never left the USA  First flight DFW-LAX-SYD-BNE  3 summer internships, 1 Christmas visit, 1 visit during furlough  “I don’t know how it will fit into my future but I know I will always be a part of the church in Brisbane somehow.”

29 Students’ perception ► Students’ self evaluation is that they benefit from internships and they are valuable. ► Yet other concerns continue...

30 Concerns ► Stewardship  Why not just support a national? ► Team formation  Do interns contribute to long term teams? ► Spiritual formation  Are spiritual changes permanent?

31 Concerns: Why not just send the money to the field? ► #1. People are using their disposable income for things other than missions; any redirection of these funds towards the kingdom should be viewed as positive. We should not view internships as competition to national funding. ► Avg. USA household credit card debt = $12,000

32 Concerns: Why not just send the money to the field? ► #2. When God wanted to touch lives he sent his son not his checkbook; internships facilitate incarnational ministry.

33 Concerns: Why not just send the money to the field? ► #3. Internships are an investment in the future as much as a remedy for the present need of the foreign national church.

34 Concerns: Why not just send the money to the field? ► #4. Throughout history trends have arisen in Christianity and culture. We can take advantage of them or miss them.  Top trend of boomers (and their children) is international travel.

35 Concerns: Why not just send the money to the field? 1. Internships are not competition to mission funds. 2. Internships have a theological base. 3. Internships are an investment in the future. 4. Internships take advantage of a national trend.

36 Concerns: Do interns contribute to long term team formation? ► 1986 Short-Term Mission Handbook states that 48% of career missionaries sent in past 5 years had previous STM experience. ► 1987 Approx. 50% of TEAM career missionaries had previous STM experience. ► Pocock, Michael. “Gaining Long-Term Mileage from Short-Term Programs.” Evangelical Missions Quarterly 23 (April 1987):154-160.

37 Concerns: Do interns contribute to long term team formation? ► Ryan Newhouse  1 year in Brazil  2 years in El Salvador  Intern 2x in Santiago, Chile ► Jared Berryman  Summer intern to Mexico City  1 year apprentice to Mexico City  Long term plans for Buenos Aires

38 Concerns: Are spiritual changes permanent? ► Nearly every study which has applied pre- and post-trip tests to STM participants has found that there is little or no lasting change in areas like spiritual maturity, cross-cultural awareness, ethnocentrism, and other hoped-for results of STM. ► (Robert Priest)

39 Concerns: Are spiritual changes permanent? ► Almost all studies have been based on self- perception and not on concrete evidence; emotions ebb over time. ► Many STMs involve junior high or high school students who lack the maturity to process the experience. ► Most STMs are conducted with a low amount of spiritual preparation pre-STM and minimal debriefing post-STM.

40 ’97 Dissertation reviewing the influence of STMs ► Increase subsequent commitment to participation in world missions ► Increase in inter-cultural communication skills ► Enhanced ability to see the world through a Biblical worldview

41 ’98 Dissertation comparing internships from three CCUs by Kathryn Tuttle ► Those indicating they received good or excellent training had significantly higher change scores than those who reported that their training was nonexistent to average. ► Following the internship, students with good training were more likely to  Help others with spiritual struggles  Accept people from different religious backgrounds  Go out of their way to love others  Be committed to Christ

42 Tuttle Dissertation ► 25% of interns reported being stretched beyond their comfort zone (vs. 3% of control group) ► 22% of interns reported having a sense of being empowered to use their gifts beyond their own strength (vs. one person in control group)

43 Tuttle Dissertation ► 22% of interns reported they better see how they fit into God’s plan ► 15% of interns reported that they trust God more in difficult times ► Other significant improvements  Improved prayer life  More passion for God  Deepened desire to know God  More content with what they have

44 Key issue is training both pre-STM and post-STM. ►... the best way to make sure that the families, churches, and communities will feel motivated and empowered by a one- week visit is to think seriously about it beforehand, and to work with organizations, missionaries, and others who are concerned and making this happen year round. ►

45 Issue of Training ► In research with Ph.D. students at Trinity, I've been impressed that while STM may not always or automatically produce desired results, the right sorts of STM, carried out in the right sorts of ways, and accompanied by the right sorts of reflections, have potential for good. research ► Robert Priest

46 Issue of Training ► His proposal: It's not enough to stress the importance of orientation and debriefing as ways of augmenting the short-term mission experience—something you'll hear from any STM expert worth her salt. Instead, the STM needs to be treated as one small module that augments a much longer and more intense course of learning. ► Abram Honig at

47 Concerns ► Stewardship:  Valuable to send interns financially and theologically ► Team formation  Future teams do tend to reap the harvest of former interns ► Spiritual formation  Spiritual growth is significant when the internship has significant pre-STM and post- STM training.

48 Conclusions 1.There is a trend among USA youth to be involved in STMs; we can make the most of it or miss it. 2.STM internships (with good training and debriefing) A. Are positive long term investments B. Facilitate long term teams C. Enhance individual spiritual formation

49 BOTTOM LINE VALUE ► Millennial generation (graduating on or after 2000) = next bridge-builder generation ► The issue is not will they shape the future but rather will we play a role in how they shape the future. This is the value of STM internships.

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