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Pastoral Internship Program Lockport Mennonite Church Stryker, OH.

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Presentation on theme: "Pastoral Internship Program Lockport Mennonite Church Stryker, OH."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pastoral Internship Program Lockport Mennonite Church Stryker, OH

2 Lockport’s Internship Journey ► In 2003, Allen Rutter was the lead pastor of Lockport with Mark and Wendy Miller as associate pastors. ► The church began to focus strategically on gift discernment and to re-structure all committees.  All members encouraged to take gift discernment survey  All committee members released from their roles, then those feeling called invited to serve without ending term ► In 2004, Mark and Wendy Miller moved to take a pastorate in Hesston, KS leaving a vacant associate pastor role at Lockport. ► More ministry diversified: Visitation and Caring Ministry team developed

3 ► Challenged by the “Culture of Call” and as a natural progression of calling out spiritual gifts, the Leadership Team decided to discern new pastoral leadership from within the congregation. ► Pamela Short was hired as an Interim Associate Pastor in 2005 to help find an associate pastor from within and to train him/her. ► Pam began with the idea that it would be a 1-on-1 training, but Jeff Smith of Central Mennonite Church (Archbold, OH) recommended using a group approach which their church had found successful. Thus began Lockport’s internship program. Lockport’s Internship Journey

4 Timeline  January Sermons “Hearing God’s call” “Listening”  February – 3 weeks of “Listening Prayer”  February – 24 names submitted to LT, LT contacted each person  March meeting for those considering involvement  April 1-October 31 – 7 people participated in the Internship Program!  November – Evaluation  Not called to pastoral ministry  Called to pastoral ministry, but not at Lockport  Called to pastoral ministry at Lockport

5 Back: Wendell Nofziger, Glenn Nofziger, Levi Stuckey, Galen Nofziger Front: Pam Short (pastor), Linda Short, Melanie Nofziger, Gloria Beck

6 Intern Opportunities Responsibilities: ► Prayer – 30 minutes weekly, 2 times publicly during service ► Plan and lead 2 Sunday Worship services ► Serve Communion ► Preach twice ► Teach two adult lessons, two children lessons ► Do Pastoral Visitation alongside pastor (homes, hospitals, etc.) ► Observe a Leadership Team meeting ► Assist in Crisis Care and Funeral Preparation as needs arise Also: ► Meet monthly (minimum) as an internship group ► Meet monthly (minimum) with Pam Short ► Write bi-weekly ministry report ► Read two books (minimum) and write reflections ► Meet monthly with a spiritual director ► Receive psychological and personality testing through Shalom ministries

7 Why did you participate? “Because my name was submitted by people who had no idea I was struggling with being called.” “I have been sensing a call for a long time and wanted to test it out. Apparently a number of others saw the potential in me by naming me and I felt that was further confirmation that I had some gifts for ministry.”

8 Did it confirm a call to ministry? Yes, it confirmed my call. I loved all the activities that I did. It was trying sometimes but that was what was fun. I experienced many aspects of the ministry and enjoyed them all. I plan on attending Taylor University this coming fall and majoring in ministries. – Levi, high school senior I found that the things that I thought prevented me from ministry were the very things needed in ministry. I am submitting an MLI Inquiry form making me available for service in the Mennonite church, and I am now willing to walk through doors that open for future ministry. -Gloria

9 I know that I’m going to pursue more education for ministry because of the affirmation I received and the deepening sense of call within myself. I’ve applied to AMBS for further education and am taking opportunities to minister as they come up and time permits. – Linda I know that I have a call to ministry. One thing I realized is that I prefer to work in younger churches with their unique strengths and weaknesses rather than older churches with their unique strengths and weaknesses. So I learned more what does and does not fit me through this internship! I was also challenged to grow in confidence. -Melanie Did it confirm a call to ministry?

10 The internship showed me that I enjoy working in many of the different realms of pastoring. It is a very high calling. The hours and weekends and being on call are demanding for a pastor and their family. …[Also] the comments, and differing agendas from members of the congregation cause me to wonder how pastors make it. I guess I realize the pain and suffering that can go along with being a pastor yet I still hope for all the good that a pastor can do with and for a congregation and the greater church. To further pursue my call to ministry, I am continuing to meet with a spiritual director, read books and the Word, preach and lead worship in lay ministry in the church. I am also ready to consider job offers and look into seminary. - Glenn

11 What has it done within the church? “Lockport has been working on gift discernment for years,. This internship is a natural extension of asking people to lay hold of those gifts. It has impacted the self-esteem of our congregation. People are saying, ‘These are our people and look what they can do’. It has been highly energizing for our congregation. Other people are thinking about God’s call as a result of this internship.” – Pam Short, Interim Associate Pastor “There seems to be a general sense of ‘God is up to something’ within the congregation.” -Intern Other churches in the area have asked some of the interns to preach and teach at their church following the internship.

12 Potential Strengths of the Model: ► Time of Listening before submission of names ► Whole congregation asked to fast and pray ► Group Model

13 “ Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20


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