youth ministry internship, summer ministry internship, youth ministry

My (Worst) Summer Internship

By Guest Contributor December 11, 2017

By: Emily DeVries

Internships. If you’re lucky you may actually receive what you were promised. If not, you will end up like me, and your story might sound something like this: 

The summer after my senior year of college I had the opportunity to intern with a missions-focused ministry. I was thrilled! A whole summer filled with the promise of growth, discipleship, and development….what could possibly go wrong?

“If you’re lucky you may actually receive what you were promised.”

Well, a lot. 

Weekly meetings with mentors were pushed off for weeks, then months, and before long the summer had come to an end without a single conversation.

An intern bible study that started off strong, fizzled out when the schedule became too full.

My time, energy, and efforts were seen as resources to be used, rather than skills to be developed.

Bottom line: A lot was promised. Very little was delivered.

The anticipation of deep, intentional discipleship that had filled my heart when I began my internship turned into a void full of resentment and disappointment by the summer’s end.

Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way.

In more recent years, I’ve had the privilege of serving in places that have kept their promises, and I’ve experienced the growth that can result from intentional development, transformational discipleship, and consistent evaluation. And it has changed everything. 

So whether you’re a potential intern or a youth worker developing interns, be intentional. College students, be selective in your search process. Look for organizations that share your values and are committed to meeting your needs as well as their own. Youth Workers, stay committed to the growth and development of your interns. Create a development plan and revisit it often.

And LeaderTreks has designed a tool to help. Check out the Internship Blueprint.

Inside you’ll find:

(1) an Intern Profile to help potential interns discover who they are and what they need in an internship

(2) a Growth Plan to help new interns set clear goals for their development

(3) an Evaluation Tool to help interns track and measure their progress



And if you’re looking for a meaningful summer internship, check out the LeaderTreks Summer Impact Team – it’s more than just an internship.

Emily DeVries is a Leadership Specialist at LeaderTreks. She attended college at Gardner-Webb University and graduated with degrees in Communications, Spanish, and Graphic Design. She believes that those who lead well inspire others to do the same. 


About the Author

Guest Contributor

The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry…  Read More