Reflections on Pastoral Ministry Internships (2)

by Tyler Greenway, M.Div. ’14

My Pastoral Ministry Internship this summer took place at Wayland CRC (Wayland, MI). My internship is a little unique, as I’ve been an intern at this church since July 2011, and will continue working there until next summer.
At this time, the church is without a full-time pastor and has a part-time interim pastor. In the past the church has also hired an intern from the seminary to assist with some of the pastoral responsibilities. These responsibilities include preaching, teaching Catechism classes, and providing some pastoral care.
My internship has been a blessing. It has provided me with an excellent understanding of what life in parish ministry will be like and a great deal of excellent experience. I think that if I were left to my own devices, I would probably preach minimally due to the busyness of schoolwork, but this internship has forced me to preach often and to refine the craft of writing and delivering sermons.
In addition to preaching, I’ve taught Catechism classes for a year, officiated at a funeral service and a memorial service, visited members of the congregation in nursing homes and hospitals, and attended many meetings.
This internship has also been a blessing in the sense that I have come to know the people in this congregation better than I would have in a shorter internship. It has been an encouraging experience to come to know a church that cares so well for the people within their congregation, and even the intern living in their parsonage. They have been very gracious to me as I slowly begin to understand what pastoral ministry looks like.
I would highly recommend an internship that runs concurrent to anyone’s seminary studies. It has helped me learn immensely.