If you remember all the way back near the beginning, we said that an internâ€™s role was to be a sponge while gaining an increasing circle of responsibility.
What does that practically look like? Below is a guide, an idea, a suggestion â€“ but it is by no means the Bible on the subject. The truth of the matter is that every one of our interns are going to have strengths that we need to capitalize on and work areas that we need to walk through. Figuring that out as soon as possible is going to go further in answering this question than anything else we do.
We are going to assume that during the application process for the intern, we learned a few things about him/her:
Their spiritual gifts â€“ at least the probabilities
Their dominant relational style
Their strongest trait
Possible work areas
The following plan should be used with the above information taking precedent. For example, if you have a couple who is 4 kinds of shy â€“ getting them to lead an icebreaker or opening question the first month or two might be an absolute disaster.
However, having them call half your life group every week to pray for them and check on them might be right in their strike zone. Give them tasks that are in their strike zone to start with. Why? Well, youâ€™ll see in a minuteâ€¦
1st 3 months
Let them organize meeting place and snacks. Seriously â€“ set the expectation early that we are here to serve. During this time, your focus is going to be on the condition of their inner discipline life and any work areas that popped up in the application process.
Tackle the work areas first. Donâ€™t brush them away or see if they will â€œgrow out of it.â€ They wonâ€™t. If they were going to grow out of it, they already would have. They havenâ€™t. So now love them enough to walk through it with them. Deal with the anger, pride, fear, insecurity, anxiety, or lack of assertiveness. Whatever the issues are, deal with them early and often.
By confronting the issues early, youâ€™ll set your life group and your future leader up to win. It cements the reality that we are serious about lifewalking with each other. It demands high vulnerability among the leaders. It sets the tone for your relationship â€“ you love each other enough to shoot straight with each other.
2nd 3 months
Find their strike zone. Is it leading an opening discussion or icebreaker question? Let them lead that. Is it praying or leading worship in the group? Let them lead that. Give the responsibility for praying specifically for half the Life Group to your interns.
3rd 3 months
Increase their role in leading the discussion. Let them bring the agenda one night. Give them the responsibility of discipling any new believers that are birthed in your Life Group. Assign half of the Life Group to them contact with every week. Start asking them to find someone to intern with them.
4th 3 months
Let them run a series of meetings, weeks in succession. Start to co-lead the life group with each other find new interns for you both.
During this whole process, you should be meeting with them every other week â€“ checking on their walk with Jesus, dealing with any new uncovered work areas, and evaluating leadership of the meetings.
Again â€“ the above is a guide, not the rule. The goal is to be progressive in releasing and empowering them as leaders, without ignoring the work areas.