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NWCBC Pastoral Internship Program Introduction


Overview

 

The purpose of the Northwest Chinese Baptist Church in Houston Pastoral Internship program is designed to serve brothers whom have a calling to engage in full-time pastoral service, helping them to identify their gifts, and developing them as leaders in the church. The interns will participate in the life of the church through a six-month half-time commitment, to observe pastoral service, to do core readings, to do book reports and to deliberate. During the internship, they will be involved in the foundational life of the church, they will see what the life of a pastor is like, and they will receive ecclesiological and pastoral theological teaching for their future ministry. How should the church be organized and gathered? Who should lead the church and how should it be led? How should church membership and church discipline be administered? How should the mission of the Church be understood? How does this mission guide the practice of the Church? In addition to observing, reading, and participating, interns will spend a significant amount of time deliberating with pastors and elders.

 

Through these efforts, we hope to achieve three things:

 

  1. We want our interns to realize that the church is where the gospel and the glory of God should be most evident. Too often we lose sight of the centrality of the church and chase after a particular ministry movement, an organization, or a celebrity Christian. This weakens the influence and role of the church in the Christian life and in the impact of the gospel.      

  2. We want our interns to develop a biblical view of the church and pastoral theology. Church planting and pastoral care is not based on the most popular methodologies or the most contextualized and attractive methods but on the Bible.

  3. We hope that through reading, deliberation, observation, and practice, the interns will come to know their gifts, be clear about the calling God has placed in them, and have a clearer vision of their future direction.

 

Structure and expectations of the internship program

 

We offer one internship cycle per year, with the 2024 internship cycle starting on 07/01/2024 and ending on 12/31/2024. It will last six months. Our ideal intern is a Christian brother who has an undergraduate education, is interested in pastoral ministry - whether as a full-time pastor, church elder, or missionary - and is considering such ministry as a primary goal in life.


During this six-month period, the intern is half-committed to the internship program, which means he will spend at least four hours a day on the internship activities. The intern's primary time will be spent in reading, writing, and discussion. In addition, the interns will be expected to participate in a wide varieties of church ministries to identify and practice their gifts, which may include: leading Bible studies, teaching Sunday school, and leading mini ministry activities.


If an intern is found to be unwilling to comply with the requirements of the internship, the church elders will terminate the internship after thorough review.

If the intern is not a member of our church, the intern will be required to join our church as a member. (As this internship program develops, interns may also join other local churches that are partnering with this internship program as provisional members.) Due to the short internship period, the intern should not expect the church he joins to confirm his calling or send him.


The program requires the interns to join our church as members and to actively participate in our church life. During the workday, they are asked to read assigned books, complete 1-2 book reports per week and to share their findings. Each week they have a morning to sit together with pastors from our church and other churches to discuss their reading and to evaluate the books they have read that week.


During the internship, interns will also participate in various ministry meetings of the church, but their primary role in the meetings is to observe and not to participate in decision-making. Whenever possible, interns are encouraged to attend interdenominational meetings within the United States with their pastors. Some of these local meetings are held in the evening. Attending these meetings will give them extra time and, of course, extra rewards.


Our Church does not promise financial support for post-internship employment, assignments, nor other ministries (e.g. seminary studies).

 

A week in the life of an intern

 

Sunday

9:00a.m.-9:30a.m. Meet at church/prayer/preparation for Sunday school classes/service

9:30a.m.-10:15a.m. Join/teach Sunday School

10:30a.m.-12:00noon Sunday Worship

 

Monday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-12:00pm Reading & Writing

Evening: 9:00p.m. for Service review and preparation

 

Tuesday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-12:00pm Reading & Writing

 

Wednesday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-12:00pm Reading & Writing

Evening: Attend church prayer service

 

Thursday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-11:30a.m. Internship Discussion

Evening: 8:00p.m.-10:30p.m. Auditing the meeting of the Elder Executives (twice a month)

 

Friday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-12:00pm Reading & Writing

Evening: Participate in small group fellowship activities at church

 

Saturday

Morning: 9:00a.m.-12:00pm Reading & Writing (if needed)

 

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

 

  1. How do I determine if I am a good candidate for this internship program?


This internship program is available to all Christian brothers who are seeking, or who are already committed to serving God and pastoring churches on a full-time basis. Whether you are already in the pastorate and want to pause and reflect on your pastoral struggles, or you are planning to step into a pastoral role, or are preparing to plant a church and expand into a new church, this internship program is perfect for you.


Second, you need to understand that we are a Chinese Baptist church in the United States, which means that our church has the same cultural context and challenges as other North American Chinese churches. If you are from the mainland, we strongly encourage you to participate in the Nine Signs Internship Program in Shanghai. Of course, if you would like to build your pastoral experience through an internship at our church or get a first glimpse of the North American Chinese church, you are still more than welcome to apply.


Third, if you are using F Visa to take Seminary in the US, you are welcome to use the opportunity of CPT or OPT to apply our pastoral internship. We are also willing to consider adjusting the length of our internship for your need of CPT or OPT.

 

2. Do I need to have attended seminary to participate in the internship?


A theological student or theological graduate can better and more quickly absorb and understand the reading assignment and what is being observed, but a theological diploma is not required.

 

3. What happens to my income during the internship?


We have designed a budget based on the criteria of a single person, which includes travel, schooling, stationery, and living expenses during the internship. If the intern is sent by another non-continental church, the sending church, our church, and the intern will be responsible for this budget on a 2:2:1 ratio.


If the intern is from a church in the continental region, or if the church, or the church to which the intern is committed, does not intend to send the intern to this program, then our church and the intern will be responsible for the budget on a 3:2 basis.


The intern's personal expenses are covered by fundraising, which is a way to invite others to work with you.

 

4. Can a sister apply?


The purpose of the internship is to train future preachers and elders, so we do not accept sisters for the internship.

 

5. What if I have a family?


For an intern with a family, both the intern and his wife are required to join our church or the internship will automatically be terminated. However, the stipend for the internship period will remain at the established rate, and interns with families may raise additional funds, subject to approval by the receiving church's Board of Elders and directly into the intern's personal account.

 

6. Do you have holidays during the internship?


There are US national holidays during the internship, but no annual leave or personal leave. However, you are still required to submit assignments as planned if they are required on that day.

 

We might have 1-2 weeks for Review and Conference, you can treat those weeks as a personal break. In addition, due to the intensity of the internship and magnitude of effort commitment, please do not make any personal travel arrangements for yourself during the internship (including pulpit support for other churches).

 

7. Can I work part-time during my internship?


You might consider having a part-time job to help you balance the demands of life. You can also use this time to prepare for your future ministry or to take some part-time theological education.

 

8. What should I do after the internship?


At the end of your internship, you have complete freedom to decide where you want to go next, and in fact you should have already thought about it before or during your internship. You can go to theology school, you can find a local church to serve, you can get a job, or you can stay on as a member of the church. It is important to note that our church is neither committed nor obligated to arrange your next job or fund your theological studies.

 

9. How far in advance should I apply?


We encourage you to apply as early as possible. In order to better organize all the books and materials needed for the internship, the application deadline for the internship program is May 31.

 

10. What is the fee subsidy for interns?


Our monthly budget for each intern is 1500 US dollars, which is calculated based on a half-time internship for a single person. The church will finally decide whether the money will ultimately be given as a subsidy or used directly for various expenses.


If you are married and your family needs more money, we strongly encourage you to raise additional funds.

 

11. Is the internship program in Chinese only?

All reading materials is available in both English and Chinese, and most of the participating pastors and interns can read, write and communicate in both English and Chinese. Therefore, as long as you can understand some basic everyday Chinese language, you can participate in our church's internship program. We especially encourage second-generation Christians in Chinese churches to participate.

We also can switch our speaking language if needed. Most of pastors we invite to join the internship discussion will be English speaker.

 

12. Do I need to work in the church every day during my internship?


No need. You may choose to work from home two half days and come to church the other three half days. In addition to the weekly internship meeting, you may choose to come to church on two other days at your discretion. However, you need to make sure that your work from home is as productive and effective as your work at church.

 

13. Do interns need medical insurance?


We require each intern to have medical insurance to cover your (and your family's) potential medical expenses during the internship.

 

 

 

Internship program budget

 

 

備註

 

Housing

$7200

$1200/month

$1700/month

Life

$2400

$400/month

Travel

$750

1 times in the US

 

Books

$650+$400

 

 

Total

$12000

 

 

Possible out-of-town meetings or training:

 

Required:

9Marks International Intensive Seminar @ CHBC, Washington, DC

or 9Marks Regional Weekender @ High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, TX

Siemeon Trust Workshop @ TX

 

Highly recommended:

Shepherd Conference (Shepherd Conference @ California)

The Gospel Coalition Annual Conference (TGC National Conference)

Cross Conference

Coram Deo Pastor Conference

Sing! Conference

 

Core reading list for the internship program

 

事工預備 Preparation

親愛的,別把上帝縮小了,When People are Big and God is Small, Edward Welch

改教家的神學思想,Theology of the Reformers, Timothy George

不滅的火焰:宗教改革簡史,The Unquenchable Flame, Michael Reeves

何為健康教會,What is a Healthy Church?, Mark Dever

 

聖經神學 Biblical Theology

诸约中的国度,Kingdom Through Covenants, Wellum & Gentry

聖經神學與解經講道,Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, Graeme Goldsworthy

聖經神學與教會生活,Biblical Thelogy in the Life of the Church: a Guide for Ministry, Michael Lawrence

聖經神學導論:從伊甸園到新耶路撒冷,From Eden to the New Jerusalem: Exploring God's Plan for Life on Earth, T. Desmond Alexander

 

教會治理Church Government

憑誰權柄:浸信會中的長老,By Whose Authority? Elders in Baptist Life, Mark Dever

神榮耀的彰顯:會眾製教會治理,Display of God’s Glory: Basics of Church Structure, Mark Dever

認識會眾的權柄,Understanding the Congregation’s Authority, Jonathan Leeman

長老職分,Church Elders, Jeramie Rinnie

教會生活中的長老,Elders in the Life of the Church - Phil.A.Newton & Matt Schmucker

執事,Deacons: How They Serve and Strengthen the Church, Matt Smethurst

尋找忠心的長老和執事,Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons, Thabiti Anyabwile

認識教會帶領,Understanding Church Leadership, Jonathan Leeman

健康教會九標志,9 Marks of Healthy Church, Mark Dever

不列顛宗教改革思潮,British Reforemation Essays

 

釋經講道 Expositional Preaching

注意!牧者們,Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon

解經式講道,Expositional Preaching, David Helm

以聖道為中心的教會,Word Centered Church, Jonathan Leeman

以基督為中心的講道,Christ Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell

神在講道中居首位,The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper

 

福音與佈道 Gospel and Evangelism

福音真義,What is the Gospel, Greg Gilbert

耶穌是誰,Who is Jesus, Greg Gilbert

福音佈道,Evangelism, J. Mack Stiles

福音信息與個人佈道,The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, Mark Dever

純正教義,Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God, Bobbie Jamieson

願萬國都歡呼,Let the Nation be Glad, John Piper

 

成員制與教會紀律 Church membership and Discipline

歸信,Conversion, Michael Lawrence

教會成員制,Church Membership, Jonathan Leeman

教會訓誡手冊,Handbook of Church Discipline, Jay Adams

教會紀律,Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman

 

教牧的呼召 The Calling of being a pastor

天命與你,Called to the Ministry, Edmund P. Clowney

危機四伏的呼召,Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp

神在講道中居首位,The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper

新牧人,The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter

尋求引導,God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions, J. I. Packer & Carolyn Nystrom

品格至關重要,Character Matters, Aaron Menikoff

柔和謙卑,Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund

 

今日教會所面對的威脅與挑戰 Threat to the Church

沒有基督的基督教,Christless Christianity, Michael Horton

教會被擄於巴比倫,On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Martin Luther

論改革教會之必要性,The Necessity of Reforming the Church, John Calvin

什麼是教會的使命,What is the Mission of the Church, Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert

艱難之地的教會,Church in Hard Places - Mez McConnell & Mike McKinley

教會生活中的男女角色,Men and Women in the Church, Kevin DeYoung

 

敬拜 Worship

禱告,Prayer, John Onwucheckwa

共同敬拜,Corporate Worship, Matt Merker

改革宗敬拜:根據聖經的敬拜,Reformed Worship, Terry Johnson

虔誠敬畏,With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basic of Reformed Worship

加爾文論崇拜,In the splendor of holiness, Jon D. Payne

 

浸禮與主餐 Baptist & Lord’s supper

認識主餐,Understanding Lord’s Supper, Bobby Jamieson

認識洗禮,Understanding Baptism, Bobby Jamieson

論洗禮與諸約的關係,Baptism and the Relationship Between the Covenants, Stephen Wellum

聖餐短論,Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper, John Calvin

 

門訓 Discipleship

門徒訓練,Discipling, Mark Dever

枝與架,The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

枝計劃,The Vine Project, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

迷人的共同體,Compelling community, Mark Dever & Jamie Dunlop

牧者的輔導事工:教牧輔導入門,The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need

以福音为中心的葬礼,Funerals - Bran Croft and Phil A. Newton

以福音为中心的婚礼,A Christ-Center Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day - Catherine Parks & Linda Strode

離婚與再婚──基督徒的觀點,Divorce and Remarriage─Christian Perspectives - Ed. by Chen Ruoyu

 

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