Since I arrived to Washington D.C. on January 8, I have had the pleasure of being a pastoral intern at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC). This is such a unique internship that I thought it would be helpful to have an insider's perspective on what we do as interns.
I spend about 5-10% of my time writing. We interns are tasked with writing thoughtful reflections about each reading (although sometimes multiple readings are reflected on in one paper). By the end of the 5 month internship, we will have written a total of 79 papers (mostly 3-page papers, with a few 5-page papers, and two 10-page papers). Mark Dever, the senior pastor at CHBC, reads the papers and provides some feedback. The papers serve as the jumping-off points for our weekly intern discussions that Mark leads.
Almost every Thursday, we have "Intern Discussion." We go through each book we've read since the previous discussion. Mark will direct questions to each intern about their writing in order to stimulate lively conversation. The CHBC staff sits in a circle around us as we discuss and they provide feedback and chime in when they wish. These discussion helps to crystallize in mind the major points from the readings.
Apart from reading, writing, and discussion, the interns do a lot of observing. We observe elder meetings (except for the executive sessions), staff meetings, membership interviews, special 9Marks interviews, weddings, and funerals. As interns, we are brought into the life of the church as well, attending Core Seminars, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening service, and Wednesday evening Bible study.
The pastoral internship program here at CHBC usually has around 6 interns, but this semester we have an unprecedented 8 interns. One is a Swedish pastor. One is from Kenya and Uganda. One is from Guyana. One is from MacArthur's church and is headed to pastor in Florida. One was already a member of CHBC. One is a Miami multi-site church. One is from Louisville (Al Mohler's office to be precise). And then one is me. We're a diverse group and it is wonderful to get to know these guys.
I have been struck by the sheer kindness of CHBC in hosting us interns. They have digested the truth that God intends to display His manifold wisdom through the church (Eph. 3:10) and they have put it into practice by pouring into men who desire to serve God in the local church. Wherever the Lord leads me in the future to pastor, I hope to be able to be a part of raising up future church leaders (much like CHBC has done).