Internships for young adults across Baptists Together
A new focus on promoting and facilitating internships for young adults in Baptist life is gathering pace
A diverse group of a dozen leaders from across Baptists Together are developing proposals for a more co-ordinated approach to internships across the denomination.
These proposals have now resulted in a clear statement of intent about internships across the Baptist family. The statement reads:
Baptists Together aims to encourage, promote & facilitate internships for those called to a wide range of missional settings across our regions in England and Wales, so that:
Interns may explore their gifting; grow in their faith as disciples of Jesus; invest their time, skills and energy; and receive training and practical experience.
Churches, mission projects and associations may provide opportunities for those called to explore their gifting; invest in developing new leaders; grow together with their interns as their gifts are identified for use in the local community; and reap the harvest of an experienced crop of young leaders across the Baptist family.
A set of guidelines for churches wishing to host interns is in an advanced stage of preparation, alongside proposals to appoint a Baptists Together coordinator for the development of our next generation of leadership.
An internship project group was commissioned by the Core Leadership Team (CLT) following the 2019 report that investigated the presence and contribution of young adults to our Baptist family.
One of the recommendations of that report was to create opportunities for those young adults already connected to our churches to develop in their discipleship and leadership – not least through internships. The hope is not only to nurture the skills and faith of interns, but also to create a culture of Baptist belonging for a younger generation.
So between January and April this year, the internship project group worked to:
Produce a clear statement of intent about internships across the Baptist family. (see above.)
Liaise and seek partnership with existing internship providers used by young adults in our churches.
Develop some ‘Marks of Developing Leaders’ based on the existing Marks of Ministry for accredited ministers.
Create a handbook of best practice, tips and resources for anyone wishing to establish their own internship programme.
Understand the costs and resources needed to develop the project further.
A presentation on the work of the project group was warmly received by the Core Leadership Team at the end of April, who subsequently asked the group to develop their ideas. This could result in a dedicated section of the Baptists Together website highlighting all the internship opportunities available around the country.
The focus on internships allies with the current priorities for Baptists Together, which include both the development of leadership in all its forms, and a focus on emerging adults aged 18-35.
Carl Smethurst, regional minister with the South West Baptist Association, authored the 2019 report and is part of the internship project group.
He said, 'This significant piece of work progresses a conversation among Baptists Together over the last five years which seeks to recognise the importance of releasing young adults to explore missional ministries of all kinds and enhance a culture of belonging for this generation across our Baptist movement.
'We hope that by providing guidelines and criteria for good practice we will be able to bring together outstanding internship programme providers into one easy-to-access resource for young adults who are looking for an internship ‘year out’ within the Baptist family, and for churches, associations and pioneer settings who would like to host an intern.
'Excellent progress has been made so far but work continues over this summertime on sourcing funding for interns in Baptist settings, recognising the importance of experience gained as an intern within our ministerial recognition systems, and exploring the appointment of a Baptists Together co-ordinator for young adults.'
If you can offer any input into this work, or have ideas to share with the project group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are presently lots of excellent internship placements available across the Baptist movement which are yet to be filled for Sept 2021. Please pass on details of the internship schemes below to those who might be considering a year out this next academic year:
Internship schemes within Baptists Together:
Image | Scott Webb | Unsplash