Internship Opportunity

I’ve accepted a position at my church to serve as the full-time intern to the youth pastor. It’s a paid position lasting 10 weeks during the summer. I’ve been considering a career in full-time ministry for some time now and I’m excited for the opportunity to see what it’s like firsthand. I hope God will use this experience to show me whether or not this is what I should be doing for the rest of my life.

My current employer, ContentWatch, is keeping the door open for me to return in August when the internship ends. That’s a huge blessing and was the final straw for me in making the decision to do this. Janene is planning to quit her job at the end of the summer to start graduate school, so I’ll need good solid employment moving into the fall.

The internship will not pay as well as my current job, but we’ve had a few late wedding presents and other financial blessings this month. I’m confident the Lord will provide abundantly for us this summer. I’m truly grateful for all my blessings and hope to give back to the Lord this summer by serving Him and His people through this intership.

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  • Congratulations, Joey.

    For those of us who don’t know, will you please explain what you will be doing as the “full-time intern to the youth pastor”?

    My question is in earnest. For anyone who wonders why I’m asking, I should mention that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has comparatively few full-time ministers, and none of them are paid a salary or hourly wage. Most actually pay for their own ministry. Bishops and “Youth Leaders” are usually volunteers who hold unrelated full-time jobs outside of church.

    So, although I can easily imagine what a full-time pastor might spend his days doing, I find it more difficult to imagine what a full-time “youth pastor” does all day. Taking it one step further, I honestly don’t have a clue as to what a “full-time intern to the youth pastor” might do all day.

    Whatever you will be doing, I’m sure you will enjoy it. I think I would, too. Serving others is almost always fun.

  • On another note—

    Joey said:

    Janene is planning to quit her job at the end of the summer to start graduate school, so I’ll need good solid employment moving into the fall.

    I’m usually against debt. However, in this case, I vote that you follow Janene’s example and focus completely on school for a while, even if it means getting a few student loans (which have record-low interest rates for just one more month).1

    Please seriously consider my suggestion—you might be better off financially in the end. Every year you delay your graduation, you pass up a possible $50,000 salary2 plus benefits (including retirement savings). Education is a great investment for you, your new wife, and your future children.

    Additionally, there may be unintentional consequences of delaying your graduation. Courses you have already taken quickly become invalid. You may never graduate, and thereby send a message to your kids that school isn’t necessary or important. You could start a cycle that’s difficult to break.

    Of course, my vote doesn’t “count.” As your sincere friend, I invite you to consider it with your wife and with God.

  • Steve said:

    For those of us who don’t know, will you please explain what you will be doing as the “full-time intern to the youth pastor”?

    To be quite honest, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing either. I at least know that my first project will be redesigning the youth group’s website. Chad (the youth pastor) wants to get a separate domain name and spruce up the look a bit.

    I will work Monday through Thursday doing various projects during the day and spending time with youth in the afternoon. Chad has also told me he will lend me to the other pastors if they have special projects they think I can handle. It sounds to me like a grab bag of whatever needs to be done on any given day.

    I’ll also go on a few trips with the youth this summer. We’re going to Glorieta, New Mexico for a Centrifuge camp June 19–25.

    Since you asked, perhaps I’ll post something here a few weeks after I start and really give you a good idea of what I’m doing day to day.

  • Anonymous

    To build upon what Steve has said, let’s remember that no one in the bible was paid for their ministry.

    Please do not take offense, for I mean none. I trust you are sincere and your desire to serve others is pure, but the concept, in general, of being paid for godly service is spoken against in the Bible reference below. Also, it’s referred to when Elisha’s servant takes money and is then cursed with leprosy.

    Again, I believe your desire and intent is pure in heart to help youth and others, but I just don’t understand why the practice of being paid for ministry ever started or is still in effect today if the Bible speaks against it, nor do I agree with it.

    Hebrews 5:4:

    And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

  • Anonymous:

    Although I personally agree with you that ministers should not be paid (see Mosiah 18:24; 1 Cor. 9:18; Acts 20:33-34), I fail to see how the verse you quoted speaks against paid ministers.

    When I read Hebrews 5:1-4 in context, I interpret the verses to mean that men must be called by God like Aaron was before they can take upon themselves the High Priesthood. God called Aaron through Moses, his chosen prophet. After God named Aaron to be the high priest, Moses dressed Aaron in special clothing, and then anointed, consecrated, and sanctified him to serve (see Exodus 28:1, Exodus 28:41, Exodus 30:30, Exodus 40:13). That is how God calls a High Priest. The epistle to the Hebrews does not necessarily say that Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, Patriarchs, and Evangelists must be called by God in a similar manner, but other holy scriptures indicate that they should (see Moroni 3:1–4, Alma 6:1, Acts 14:23, Acts 16:4, D&C 41:9).

    So, Hebrews 5:1-4 says nothing about receiving payment. In fact, the priests in Moses’ time received at least some of their daily food from the meat of the sacrificial offerings (see Lev. 6:26, Lev. 6:29, Lev. 7:6). I suppose the meat could be seen as a form of payment in-kind.

    Anyway…the point of my entry is not to argue whether or not priests and ministers should be paid. There is evidence on both sides of that debate. Nor am I trying to show how a minister should be called and ordained (although I think I did). My point is to question whether Hebrews 5:4 speaks against paid ministers, as Anonymous says it does.

    Looking back at my first comments on this topic, I honestly meant only to learn what Joey would be doing all summer, and I wanted to encourage him to focus on his schoolwork in the fall.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I guess my point behind Hebrews 5:4 was not very clear. If you are called of God, you are not applying for a job as Joey is in this case.

    God inspires one holding authority to call that person to the calling and that person serves until released. Again, I’m not here to say anything negative about Joey himself. I’m just pointing out that paid ministry is against what the bible teaches and, if that is the case, why is Joey doing it? Why does anyone accept money for godly service?

    I know Joey is set in his decision; but I would hope Joey considers what I’ve said seriously and prays about what he’s doing.

  • I have just recently moved to the south and have been absolutely amazed at the amount of wealth that is poured out upon many of the ministers and pastors in this region. In my mind the Bible teaches very clearly how God feels about this practice. 2 Kings chapter 5 is quite illustrative of the fact that a man truly called of GOD such as Elijah would not even consider taking payment for his work…nor did the Lord look kindly on his(Elijah’s) servant accepting payment for his work. The joke I keep hearing repeated by the locals is that to be a good minister in the south you need to be able turn any sermon into one on tithing. The Lord certainly does sustain his called prophets…but he does so in tremendous modesty…not in extravagant luxury. The ministers of today seem to want to emulate the Prophet & King David forgetting that his riches came from his crown as King not his mantle as prophet. They also seem to forget that his wealth and position, and many wives did nothing to keep him from sinning against God with Bathsheba…and then trying to hide his sin with the murder of her husband. Of all the prophets to seek to be like…it would be wise to choose others before David…why not start with Jesus Christ himself…or his chosen apostles…who taught, ministered, and were martyred for their discipleship. They did it not for money or to be supported up as Pharisees did… No they did it for the love of the Lord…receiving the guidance that they should take no thought for what they should eat or drink or what they should wear…and the Lord reminded them that he was aware of the sparrows…and he would take care of them. A pastor local to the Atlanta area here has been in the press of late…defending himself against the criticism against his 3 Million Dollar salary and his $350,000 dollar car. I must admit he is quite adamant that his wealth is his blessing and his business. Forget the fact that 95% of his wealth comes from a congregation where 95% of the people live near or below the poverty level and don’t spend as much on their children’s annual clothing budget as this guy does on one suit. An extreme example…perhaps, but it is only the tip of an iceberg sized problem caused by men & women who seek to make a living as paid ministers. In other holy writ this practice was referred to by another name… Priest Craft.

  • Anthony, I appreciate your comment above, and for a reasoned defense of my position would like to point you to my more recent blog entry, Is Paid Ministry Unbiblical?.

    An for my internship (which is now over), I took quite a heavy pay cut moving from my previous job. The internship was not a high-paying job by any stretch of the imagination, and I certainly wasn’t in it for the money.