Summer With an Intern

This summer, our church had an intern through the Transgenerational Ministry.
The intern was a former youth student of mine when I was in Hawaii. And he stayed with us in our tiny apartment for the duration of his internship (a looooong 6 1/2 weeks. Heh.)

It’s been a full week since he’s been gone.
I can’t say that I really miss Dae, but it’s a bit boring without him here.

For Dae’s sake, I was glad that he was able to do his internship in a non-Korean church. He’s been part of a Korean church all his life, and his leadership skills and organizational experience is all rooted in the Korean church culture. For him to see something that’s definitely not Korean, I hope it was every bit helpful, as it may have been frustrating here and there.

It was weird to be his on-site “mentor.” I think I may have damaged his ego and pride and feelings more than helping him. Hey, all the jokes I made at him, he deserved it. And, I only kid because I love…

In all seriousness, being his on-site “mentor” was a bit weird. The other on-site pastors who hosted interns were far more experienced and gifted in ministry than I am and those guys are people I look up to in ministry.
But here was this kid, shadowing mostly me, throughout the summer.

We had real great conversations throughout the internship.
I tried to share with him whatever experiences, insights, knowledge I had gain so far in my short ministerial career. I shared with him the hardships and the joys that come with ministry. I shared with him the amount of frustrations that I faced in both Korean church and anglo-churches.

And in all these, I didn’t scare him away from ministry, yet.

I also realized, how important it was for me to actually follow through and live up to the advices and suggestions that I was sharing with him. They say that the person that receives the most from a sermon is the preacher him/herself.

I felt the most important thing that I could share with him right now in these times of my life was for him to not focus on the results or the lack of, to not get stressed about the results or the lack of, because most of the times, we don’t know the type of impact we may have had on the church until we are long gone. And, especially in a Korean church, where numbers are a primary indicator of good results, when the amount of people who show up don’t meet up to the numbers we envisioned our heads, then we can only walk away feeling like we have failed. Instead of focusing on the end results all the time, it might be beneficial to focus on the journey that God has on right now. To see where we are, where we may be going, not just what the end would hold for us.

I’m learning more and more, it’s about the journey.
I feel that we often put too much emphasis on the results, and not focus on the journey enough.

I also got to share with him how one of my former senior pastors berated me by telling me that there is no joy in ministry. That there is no such thing as a happy pastor. That we’re not in this for joy or happiness.

I wanted to make sure that Dae knew that there is plenty of joy in ministry. There is plenty of love, joy and grace, because we serve a God that is full of love, joy and grace.

While I wish I could take credit for the leader Dae is turning out to be, since I was his pastor and his on-site mentor, I know that’s an asinine thing to think.

What I am, though, is honored and humbled to have been part of his journey, as he continues to search for his purpose and role in God’s kingdom.

I think our staff and the church saw that God was definitely calling him into ministry, and that God has a special plan for Dae.

He and I have talked about/joked about/dreamed about planting a church together or being involved in ministry together in the near future.

I promise to be a bit more nicer and more affirming, if we ever get to work together. But, he has to get that Hawaii Slowness out of his system. Haha. Hopefully spending the entire summer in the mainland helped with that.

It was great to have you stay with us throughout the summer. You know that our home is open to you whenever. I hope that, not only did you learn a lot, but that you also had a lot of fun. We all see God’s calling in your life. We can all see that God has a special hold on you and has something planned for you. So go do your thing, brah. Or more like, go do God’s thing in you. Just don’t talk to Pastor John that much, because he might want to replace me with you. Hah.

Good hunting.

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