This is the first guest post on lifeofayouthpastor.com and I could not be more thrilled of who is writing it. Kristen (one of my former students) is awesome at what she does in ministry and has a bright future ahead, if you are at all considering an internship type program you should consider what she has to say. -Chris
Last June I was presented with an opportunity to be in the Leadership Development Program(LDP) at my church, Gateway Church in Austin Texas to work in student ministry. It’s basically been my dream since I graduated high school to intern or be an assistant here. I didn’t even know if I wanted to be in full time ministry for the rest of my life, but I did know that I loved what Gateway was all about and I loved the NextGen team!
We started the year long LDP off in August by going on a retreat to bond as a group, to work on character building, and to take a look at our personality types (myers briggs, and strengthsfinder). After those days with my fellow LDP’s and our leader Shaula, I realized that this was more than the simple internship I thought it would be. It has been an immersive ministry experience with a ton of hands on training, theology classes, mentoring by multiple people in different areas in my life, accountability with the other LDP’s , and spiritual development.
I have had the opportunity to help plan and execute our Winter Camp, help run GO! Teams (mission trips) and participate as an adult leader, go on a scouting trip to El Salvador, and to Orange Conference in Atlanta with my team. On top of all that, each week we have huddles where we get to learn about a variety of topics, from strategic planning and working with volunteers, to evangelism training and how to study the Bible!
So far, this year of being an LDP has been one of my favorite things I’ve done so far in my life! I have been blessed to work primarily under the amazing student pastor, Chris Parker, and also with the rest of the NextGen staff. I have learned so much about myself, ministry, and God’s plan! All the things I have learned this year will not only help me in my future in ministry, but also in all other aspects of my life!
The time commitment is a full year (August-August) in which you can choose to work part time (25 hours) or full time and the hours are consistent with a typical ministry schedule. Depending on your ministry area, you will serve 2-8 hours on Sundays. There is no cost to apply or attend the program. You can either work a part-time job to pay for your living experiences, or you can raise support to cover the cost of rent, food, and other necessities…Gateway will help you walk through this. The program begins in August, so you would need to be able to move to Austin prior to your start date. This year, Welcome Day is August 22nd, and the kick off week includes a retreat for all LDPs. (Read here for more FAQ’s)
If you read this and you are interested at all, with no hesitation, I would encourage you to APPLY! This program is an amazing opportunity to be mentored in all areas of life, learn from the best and make amazing friends!