Yesterday we were reviewing where we were as a church. In the past twelve years, God has been faithfully growing us. This year, we are sending some of our best leaders for a church expansion project in another part of the city.
Among the youth, we have seen many people seeking meaning on the campuses. We now have nine services in seven locations on a Friday afternoon. The power of the gospel is evident as people know Christ through our discipleship groups that happen every day of the week.
As pastor Allan was presenting the number of leaders that we have had the past year, I was both excited and, at the same time, bothered. Currently, we have 200+ leaders leading groups while only 80 interns. I know most would be happy to see that kind of a number, yet at the same time, as church leaders, we have to look at that shortly; we might experience a problem that many churches are experiencing called the Multiplication Challenge.
When leaders start leading without the idea of leaving, the leader tends to carry an entire load of discipleship on their shoulders. It’s a do or dies strategy rather than a multiplication strategy. When the leader is gone, the group goes missing.
When we start life groups, discipleship groups, or what we call Victory groups in our local church, we must make it a goal to identify an intern in the first six months. Doing so divides the discipleship load and prepares the group for multiplication shortly.
So how do we intern someone? Pastor Steve in his book Multiplication Challenge, shares three components of active internship:
- Observation: Watch Me lead.
Let your identified intern watch you lead; you create an environment and opportunities to spend time with the person you are developing as a leader. Pastor Ferdie did that to me. He would ask me to accompany him on his ministry trips and observe. He shows me the rope in many instances and tells me to be ready to do it the next time around. That was how I was trained to do discipleship, prepare for preaching, and deliver one!
2. Participation: Lead with Me.
Remember, don’t throw your intern to the lion immediately. Go and slay some lions and giants with him first. To lead with you means you give the person an opportunity to show. It is sharing the platform of leadership with the person under internship. Some leadership skills are learned by doing. We can graduate from all the leadership classes, but it can never be developed unless it is practiced.
3. Evaluation: Learn with Me.
Feedback is so critical for leadership development. When we practice the discipline of evaluation, we avoid pitfalls many have when it comes to leadership. Learning from mistakes is good but learning from other people’s mistakes is better. We get to tweak and improve on many aspects of internship and leadership through careful evaluation. Without proper assessment, an intern would be clueless if what they are doing is right or wrong.
Here is a video of Pastor Steve discussing the concept of internship: