The Value of an Internship

A few years ago I started taking interns along for some of my summer camps. They assist me by teaching juggling workshops to campers, running my merchandise table, and sometimes even speaking and performing on the stage during gathering sessions.

I love having these interns around. It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders and helps me to focus on the main tasks that I need to focus on (teaching, speaking, juggling, etc).

They get to have an experience that is hopefully formative in their journey as young men in ministry. The value of an internship can have life-long benefits, such as being exposed to new and exciting ways of doing things, seeing behind-the-scenes in various leadership positions, and more.

The week after I graduated from high school, I started my first apprenticeship: as an electrician’s helper. I did that every summer while I was in college. It was hard, menial, and grueling work and I didn’t get paid much. But years later, I re-wired my entire house from knob-and-tube wiring to modern romex – all without having to call an electrician. That was worth thousands of dollars. And I learned all sorts of building skills that have come in handy for projects for myself and others.

There is value in internships and apprenticeships. Not all are created equal, so find one that fits your gifts and interests, and make sure the people above you have your best interest in mind.

Here is the website of one of my interns, Jacob, who will be with me again this summer. Go Jacob!

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Jesse Joyner travels nationwide performing a comedy juggling act for family and kids events. He is also working towards his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Kezzie.

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