5 Simplistic Steps to Recruit the Best Interns

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Are you successfully recruiting the best interns to your organization? Every year, thousands of organizations and ministries are searching for an intern to bring onto their team, but not everyone is successful at finding the right fit. There can be a life-giving breath of fresh air and palatable energy brought to the church through a young and excited intern. But when handled poorly, an intern can also bring a sense of dread or discouragement. We want to create a valuable ministry experience for both the intern and the organization so here are five simplistic steps to recruiting the best interns for your team!

1. PREPARE

Create a written plan explaining why you would like to hire an intern and then get that plan approved. If you believe an internship can propel a person forward through personal development and coaching then write that in the job description. If you believe having someone come alongside you daily will help give ministry experience then write out some daily responsibilities and add those to your document. Determine benefits, expectations, work schedule, required skills and who will provide supervision and prepare a presentation for your leadership. Once you have the position approved and you know what you are looking for in a candidate then you begin the search.

2. SEARCH

Now that you have the internship position approved and you have created a solid job description begin searching for candidates. Post the opening on social media, spread the word, and begin taking resumes. With every possible candidate, carefully read over their resume to see not only what is listed but also what is missing. Check references and ask the hard questions necessary to get to a better understanding of the candidate. Finally, review the candidate’s social media accounts and look for both read flags and hints as to their fit on your team. After you have a good number of resumes, narrow your list and begin interviewing your top candidates.

3. INTERVIEW

Most likely you will be spending a considerate amount of time with your intern so keep this in mind as you begin the interview process. Ideally, you would interview the candidates in person with a group of discerning leaders but if that is not the case then set up the meeting using a service such as Skype or Zoom. Invite a few leaders to come along for the interviews and try lining up your team’s schedules so that you can move fast in the decision process. During the interview ask a variety of questions to get to know them, see how they would handle a situation, and hear their heart for what you are inviting them into. Write down their responses or record the meeting to help with future discussion and deliberation.

4. HIRE

Directly after the interviews, it would be beneficial to deliberate with your team. If one candidate rises to the top and it is an easy decision then begin moving forward with that candidate. If deliberation leads to more confusion then you may need some time or possibly a point system to determine who you will extend the job offer to. When you offer the position to the intern candidate, be clear in your communication. Let the candidate know you have selected them, review the terms of the agreement, and set a deadline to receive an acceptance of the offer.

5. COMMUNICATE

Now that you know who the intern will be and when they will start, communicate with your team and lay out some expectations. Share why you are hiring an intern and how they can help give the intern ministry experience and personal development. Encourage your team to schedule a meal with the intern as a way to break the ice and get to know them. Also if it’s applicable, make sure you inform your organization about what to expect and how the intern fits into the organizational structure. Help the organization see what the benefit will be as well as how they can contribute to the intern’s growth.

Hiring an intern can bring energy and fresh eyes to your organization. Make sure you do the hard work and follow these five simplistic steps to recruit the best intern for your team!

(Originally posted to the Youth Specialties blog at https://youthspecialties.com/blog/5-simplistic-steps-recruit-best-interns)

Are You Working Willingly As If For God?

What is your favorite scripture passage in all of the Bible? Maybe you think of the famous verse, John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Or maybe you learned Proverbs 3:5 growing up, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” 

Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, I would have to say one of my favorites is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” We are not living for this world and we need to be prepared for opportunities to serve God through serving others. We must pray and live intentionally with our focus on living for God. Let’s break down Colossians 3:23 to help us grow in our walk with the Lord.

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Work willingly: Our work, or whatever we commit our time and energy towards, needs to flow out of a willingness to serve the Lord. When we sit down at the desk or show up at the counter to begin our shift, we need to have the attitude of an eager servant. We need to work not begrudgingly or with half effort, but as an act of worship. 

At whatever you do: Not just in your nine to five, but in everything your hand finds to do, serve God. Whatever you make, bring forth, commit to, or engage in, ask yourself if it is glorifying God. On both your cheerful days and the days when you are feeling your worst, in everything honor God.

As though you were working for the Lord: If you work for an angry boss or a lazy business owner then you might be tempted to slack off when the work gets hard. The primary focus of our work should not be a paycheck or a raise, but honoring God. With the mindset of serving our ultimate “Boss,” we will see our motivations and work ethic in a completely different model. 

Rather than for people: The reason for our behavior and attitude should not be found in pleasing others, but ultimately in pleasing the Lord. Paul put it best in Galatians 1:10 when he wrote, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” The compelling force behind our work in both the big and small needs to be found in honoring God more than people. 

Take a minute before you click out of this post to reflect on your day so far. Have you been a willing worker? In everything, is your attitude glorying God? Are you striving to please the Lord in your work more than other people? You’ve got this! Repent, and start again.

The Unique Challenge of Youth Ministry Without Having Kids

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When you think of a youth minister who is married but has decided not to have kids, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you wonder if he is selfish and chose not to have kids so that he can live his life free from the pressures of being a parent? Do you consider him lazy or immature as he lives alone with his spouse? What if I told you that choosing to remain childless may actually be a way to serve God more fully? While we are all aware of the benefits that having kids can bring to your household, today I want to share the unique challenge of doing youth ministry without having kids of your own.

BENEFITS

When a youth minister does not have kids of his own, he is able to keep the ministry at a higher priority and devote more time to the youth of his church. Instead of balancing his schedule to attend his own children’s sports, he is able to be actively involved in the sports of the kids in his youth group. When an emergency happens in the middle of the night, he doesn’t have to worry about getting his kids to school on time and is able to be there with the family involved. When a new ministry opportunity opens up in another town or state, he is able to move without worrying about how his children will adjust to a new school.

DIFFICULTIES

When a youth minister has kids, he is able to be a solid example and model for the parents in his ministry. He is able to practice what he preaches in his own household and give parents something to strive towards. It can be very difficult to teach a parenting class when you yourself are not a parent. Parents in the church are often looking for someone to ask questions to and usually, their first choice is not the young or childless youth minister. Someone without kids may also overlook situations that parents clearly see, such as having an event that ends after nine o’clock on a school night.

ADVICE

If you have not been called to be a parent and are able to do youth ministry without kids of your own you need to consider both the benefits and difficulties that come with this lifestyle. You are not the parenting expert, but this doesn’t mean that you are off the hook. Here are some tips:

  • Start building a resource library so that you can equip the families in your church with wise advice.
  • Create a parent council to come alongside you and help you see things you are currently unaware of.
  • Point parents to the real authority by reading and memorizing Scripture passages directed towards parents and use them in your weekly conversations.

Being in youth ministry without having kids of your own brings many challenges. Do you see additional benefits or difficulties that you would like to share? Is there advice that you can give to help a youth minister in this situation? Share in the comments!

(Originally posted at: https://youthspecialties.com/blog/unique-challenge-youth-ministry-without-kids/)

Breakthrough Secrets To Engaging Students In Your Next Talk

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“God doesn’t need flawless communicators just faithful hardworking ones.” – Doug Fields

At the National Youth Workers Convention you will find excellent speaking with an outstanding stage presence. Presenters have refined their skills to engage the crowds and it is easy to see that their hard work is paying off. At this year’s conference Josh Griffin and Doug Fields shared from their combined 50 years of ministry experience to challenge youth workers in how they lead from the stage. Here are breakthrough secrets to engage students in your next talk!

Be Authentic. 

Use your life but remember that not all of your stories are winning stories. You can expose your failures and pains but only share at an appropriate level. The real you is inviting, so take time to craft personal stories. If you are wanting to discuss a topic outside of your scope then it might be time to bring out an expert panel. Stay away from stories that you don’t own because if you are fake, your audience will know.

Be Funny. 

Humor opens the door to engaging your students. Doug explains the essence of humor as taking your audience down a path and then quickly jumping in an unexpected direction. Use images, memes, and videos but think through your transitions out of a funny moment. Get the audience laughing, pause, and then connect the humor to the principle you are teaching. Self-deprecating humor is the best because when you make fun of yourself the audience leans in and identifies with you more. Also, consider using call back humor by bringing back a joke from earlier in your message.

Be Different

Make the message come alive. To do this, you might use different tools like discussion questions, testimonies, or even a change in the venue. Know when in the message your audience is going to need a break or time to breathe. Silence can become a mini illustration. Use a dramatic pause to draw the students back into your talk.

Be Clear. 

For students to follow along in your talk, they need your message to stick: Study, Think, Illustrate, Construct, Keep-focused. When you introduce an object lesson or story, students might not need to see how it connects all at first, but you don’t want to leave them hanging too long. Create a clear call to action and help each student know what their next step is as a result of your talk.

Be Intentional. 

Always bait your hook. Walk on the stage with confidence knowing that you did the work necessary to deliver an engaging message. Know how are you going to grab their attention. You can make something feel spontaneous yet it is fully planned. Be intentional in connecting your humor, illustration, story, or object to the goal of your message. Also, work on phrases that build an authentic bridge to your audience. Saying something like, “and that’s what I want for you as well” or “here’s why I really want you to get this” are great phrases to engage with your students.

Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”

You have been entrusted with the responsibility of presenting the good news message of Jesus. Work hard to engage your students in your next talk! 

“If you think the gathering of biblical facts and standing up with a Bible in your hand will automatically equip you to communicate well, you are desperately mistaken. It will not. You must work at being interesting. Boredom is a gross violation, being dull is a grave offense, and irrelevance is a disgrace to the gospel. Too often these three crimes go unpunished and we preachers are the criminals.” – Charles Swindoll

28 Leadership Quotes From the #NYWC16

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Every year thousands of youth workers for training, networking, encouragement, soul care, resources, and much more at the National Youth Workers Convention! Here are 28 leadership quotes that I believe will speak to your heart.

Mark Matlock @MarkMatlock

“Students will come in droves to learn about 3 topics: Sex, end times, and will there be sex in the end times.”

“If you knew Jesus was coming back next week, what would you do different?”

“One of the problems is that when we think about Heaven our thoughts are too small.”

“How we see Heaven is how we will live on earth.”

“To arise is to live on earth as it is in Heaven.”

“Teenagers are imagining and dreaming from a different space than we are.”

“To arise is to help teenagers see their vocation as kingdom work.”

“Ask yourself: What is God asking us to do? How do we arise? How is God calling you to stand up and step out?”

“How is God calling you to stand up and step out?”

Chase Snyder @ChaseSnyder12 

“If you serve bi-vocationally, you can still have a full impact in your community.”

“There’s no part time in ministry. Everyone has expectations for you and that expectation doesn’t go away just because you have fewer hours.”

“‘Satan never takes a vacation so you shouldn’t.’ This is not who you should be modeling your life after.”

Kara Powell @KPowellFYI

“Youth leaders see a few photos, parents see the whole photo album.”

“As a parent, I need you to help me navigate the whole photo album.”

Albert Tate @alberttate

“Before you can do the work, you have to do the worship.”

“We know how to recover from failure but do we know how to recover from success?”

“The church of Jesus Christ is Plan A there is no Plan B…There are no sections in heaven! We will be one church!”

“If you failed or missed the mark, Jesus is not done with you.”

“Before you can do the work, you have to do the worship.”

“I don’t care what the numbers say in the audience we just need to be faithful with that God has given us.”

“Some of you are waiting for God to give you instruction. But Moses stepped out FIRST, then God gave instruction.”

Jeremy Del Rio @jeremydelrio

“You can’t fish for men and women without going to where the fish are.”

“It’s the job of the evangelist, apostle, and prophet to activate the people in the pews.”

“Our goal, simply stated, is that students and schools should thrive.”

Tony Campolo @TonyCampolo

“I have yet to meet someone who became a Christian by losing an argument.”

“The only way to bring someone back to the faith is to pray them back.”

Greg Stier @gregstier

“Evangelism really forces the risk of a social death.”

“Don’t just throw seeds – we need a greenhouse.”

Which quote spoke to you the most? If you were there and would like to add more, what would help make this list more complete?

How To Easily Network With Other Leaders Now

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So what is your strategy to network with other leaders at your next conference?

Do you stand at the entrance, handing out business cards to everyone as they enter?

Do you pay thousands of dollars to advertise your social media content, hoping for followers?

Do you print your twitter handle on stickers and attach them to everything as you walk through the exhibit hall?

If you’re like most people, the thought of asking a stranger for help or reaching out to an author to ask questions begins a nervous feeling deep down in your gut. You know the value of networking but you find it easier said than done. Right now, I want to share with you a few tested tips to give you a successful networking experience at your next conference!

Know Your Goal.

Most people fail to network well because they don’t know what they are looking for in the first place. Are you looking for advice? Are you trying to land a book deal? Do you want to learn from someone further down the road then you? Are you just looking for someone to vent to? Start now by determining your goal.

Prepare. 

If the presenter walked off the stage and asked you to go to dinner would you be prepared to ask meaningful questions? Do you know where you are currently in leadership and what you need to get to the next level? Take some time right now to write down a few questions. Prepare for the chance encounter. Know your schedule and when downtime will make networking natural. Print off a couple of business cards in case you need to cut a conversation short. And make sure you follow conference hashtags on social media to connect digitally as well!

Create Opportunities.

Make every minute count. Whether you are waiting in line for coffee or walking through registration, look up from your phone and connect with the people around you. If this is intimidating then consider getting a wing man to help you out socially or write down a few ice breaker questions that can spark meaningful conversation. Maybe you create an opportunity by hosting a meal or offering to pick up the coffee tab in exchange for a person’s time. Remember to be generous.

Be Worthwhile.

Nothing frustrates a leader worse than wasting valuable time. If someone agrees to invest their time into you, do the work necessary to return the favor. Ask targeted questions and actually listen, not just waiting for your turn to talk. Give the leader your full attention and take notes when appropriate. This can be a reciprocal relationship but keep close attention to how much you are talking and the body language of the other person. Remember it’s better to leave the conversation with the other person desiring more.

Follow up.

When you turn and walk away can you clearly articulate your next step? Did the leader give you a deep wisdom that you need to take some time to digest? Did you set up a conference call or ask if you can connect on social media? A sure fire way to building a lasting relationship with someone is to follow up with them, expressing what you learned and how meeting them has impacted your life.

Networking doesn’t have to be complicated. You can easily connect with other leaders and form genuine relationships. Take time right now and do the work necessary to set yourself up for future success.

Quick Book Review & Free Giveaway: Stretch by Jim Wideman

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If you’re leading a team of volunteers or oversee a ministry, you celebrate and search after growth. In Jim Wideman’s informative book, Stretch – Structuring Your Ministry For Growth, he asks the questions, “If a hundred new families walked into your church, would you know what do do with them? Would their kids have teachers? Would they even have a classroom? If fifty people who wanted to serve approached you this Sunday, could your system handle it?” These questions will challenge your thinking and throughout the book you will be see how to create a growth structure for your ministry. 

Stretch Teaches The Following Topics:

The Importance of Structure

Making Room to Receive

Beginning Keys to Building Structure in Ministry

Structuring Yourself for Growth

Enlarging the Abilities of Those You Lead

Structuring Your Organization for Growth

Structuring Your Volunteers for Growth

Structuring Your Facilities for Growth

Communicating Your Structure

Questions to Ask Yourself

If you desire to apply Biblical principles of structuring your ministry for growth, then Stretch is for you. Pick up a copy for yourself and then lead your team through each chapter. Take steps today, to move away from a maintenance model and create a strategic plan for the ministry you are stewarding.

If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a physical copy of Stretch, simply share this blog post to social media.