• Reach the Isles

8 Excuses for Not Taking an Internship

Everyone loves a good excuse! So here are eight of mine:

1. It’s going to be hard work.

That may be true, but since when did hard work hurt anyone. And when has the reward from hard work been so valuable. When it comes to ministry, there may be preparation involved, but having the opportunity to share about Jesus or to fellowship with others makes every minute of hard work pay off. If not now, in eternity.

2. I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

Perfect – then an internship is for you! I was in the same position two years ago when I was getting ready to graduate. I reached out to a church-planting missionary and was encouraged to come and get involved with the ministry. As I trusted God’s leading, He has really guided me and opened up a door to be involved in full-time ministry (Prov. 3:5-6).

3. I won’t get a certificate or degree at the end.

Exactly, you’ll get something much better. You will first-hand experience in the ministry or on the mission field. You will get to watch your mentors and then put into practice what you have learned.

4. I make too many mistakes.

It’s the same with everyone, not matter what you are working towards. I make plenty of mistakes, it keeps me humble and gives me reason to keep on learning and trying. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Sometimes it is better to make mistakes and learn from them, than to never learn at all.

5. It means leaving my comfort zone.

Yes, if you want God to do anything with your life, you need to leave your comfort zone. It can be a painful process, but once we cross that point of no return, we won’t even want to return. God can use us, but only when we give up the comforts that we are holding so tightly on to.

6. I don’t want to work in a small church, I want to do something big!

It’s exactly the opposite! Maybe you have thought of working in a big church, with the hope of making a big name for yourself, getting involved in some big ministries. That rarely happens, you’ll disappear into the crowd. Working with a small church is how you really get involved, you will be given responsibilities, teaching a class, witnessing, leading the singing, etc. Also being humble goes a long way when it comes to doing God’s work (James 4:10).

7. I don’t have the skills they are looking for.

God doesn’t require us to be skilled, He wants us to be willing. With a willing heart and a servant’s attitude, He will teach us the skills we need to know in order to serve (Psalm 32:8). Also learning from a mentor, you can get the tips and tricks that will help with whatever ministry you are involved in.

8. It would cost too much money.

Unfortunately, life costs money; food, clothes, entertainment, education, housing, transport, etc. Few things in life are free, but an internship is one of them! When it comes to education, you could end up with a piece of paper and no practical experience. However with an internship you could get the experience and knowledge that surpasses what you might have learnt from sitting behind a desk listening to a lecturer who may never have even left the classroom.

Do any of these excuses apply to you? Then an internship is just what you need!

These were excuses that I made, but now I am coming to the end of a 10-month internship with a small, but growing, church in southeast London. It has been one of the best experiences I have ever been a part of. Getting to be involved in the ministry, either behind the scenes or on centre stage has been a life-changer. Not only has it been invaluable preparation for the mission field, but personally God has really been working in my life.

I have benefited so much from my internship; I have had the opportunity to be fully involved in the ministry, I have grown in my faith, I have stepped out my comfort zone and I have learned skills that will assist me in the future. But most importantly I have learned to put God first (Matt. 6:33). He knows best and will do what is best for me.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get in touch with a few churches, see where there is a need, see how you can help, go, explore, step out of your comfort zone, learn and be a blessing. God can do great things with your life if you want Him to.

Hannah Neilly