written by Anne Allen
We have all seen them serve on Sundays. We have benefited from their quiet, carefulattention to all the details required to keep the Gatherings and the inner workings of Karis Church running smoothly. Behind the scenes, however, the purpose of the Karis interns is to learn. To grow and develop the leadership skills vital to ministry.
Over the past decade, scores of people have gone through the two-year Karis internship. Five interns, past and present, weigh in on what they learned about leadership and ministry during their internship.
I became an intern because I felt the call to ministry and church planting, but wanted to gain practical experience before moving forward. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a church planter, I look back on my internship experience and am so thankful for all the lessons learned. It was far better than I ever expected.
The biggest lesson I learned as an intern was how beautiful it is when the body of Christ works together for God’s glory. Getting to see how God uses community to grow believers and reach the city is something I am immensely thankful for.
My “insider” advice for Karis is that being an intern can be pretty tough. Words of encouragement mean a lot!
I am an intern because I have a desire to reach hurting women and equip other women to do the same. The experience was a lot more interpersonal than I would have expected. Staff ministry can be a lonely position and a heavy burden. I am thankful God is patient enough to remind me everyday that he is good and he is with me.
The internship taught me a lot about humility and how the Lord is the ultimate leader of our church. We are in His hands. It is a daily reminder for me to lay down any control I think I have.
Sometimes people think that the interns are some type of elite Christian, but I would like Karis to know that we are all the same. We are one body and the interns are just a small part of it. As an intern, you become very thankful for other volunteers and lay leaders pouring their hearts into the church.
I think that learning and growing as a Christian is vital because the Lord is an amazing comforter, friend and ally. He is the constant in a world gone crazy, and leaning into him is sanity.
I became a Karis intern because I felt called to be in leadership in some capacity, but did not know what thatwould look like or if I would be any good at it. I also wanted affirmation of that calling. A person can say “I feel called to ministry,” but it does not mean anything if the people around you do not affirm that calling. I hope that my two years serving the church will give me that clarity and affirmation of my calling.
Learning and growing as a Christian is important because it is equipping you to serve the local body and the larger, universal church. It is really difficult to serve well if you do not know where God wants you to serve or what your motivation should be while serving. Being trained in leadership is important to the Great Commission. It is part of serving the Lord well and telling people about Christ. You are going to struggle if you do not know how to do that.
If I could let the church know anything about being an intern, it is that we do a little bit of everything. The only place I have not served is on the music team, and that is only because I am not musically talented. If I was, I would be serving there too. When you are an intern, you basically try and hold all the little things together so the elders can keep their eyes on the big picture.
I became an intern because I was a young Christian who felt the call to ministry and was eager to learn. I appreciated how the Karis internship was fully integrated, hands-on ministry in the local church. That was foundational for me.
The biggest lesson I learned was the importance of managing administrative duties. It is pretty eye-opening when you realize how big a part of ministry that is. The second biggest lesson was watching the elders work and being in the same room when church-shaping conversations happen.
It is important to be disciplined about learning and growing as a Christian because life is ultimately about knowing God and being in his presence. That is eternal life. To have abundant life is to know God.
As an intern, I learned what true church looks like. It is complete dependence on the Lord while walking in humility and transparency with one another. Now that I have seen that, I never want a counterfeit version.
If I could tell the church one thing about the internship, I would want them to know that throughout my internship I could see the elders continually going back to the scripture and back to prayer in search of God’s guidance. I also saw God lead and provide in big ways in response to their seeking.
Learning and growing as a Christian is important because God has called us to holiness. Even though he has made us holy, our lives should reflect what God has already declared over us, through his son, Jesus Christ. We need to walk in gratitude and become living sacrifices daily.