This process begins years earlier with the Call of God to missionary service. The academic portion of this journey is now completed and the time of practical experience awaits the candidate like an open door. It has been said, “Internship is just one more advantage that sets the Baptist Bible Fellowship International apart from the rest.”


After fulfilling the education and other requirements according to BBFI mission policy, the next step in preparation for a career missionary is internship. Internship is a vital requirement and one that separates the Baptist Bible Fellowship International from other mission agencies.

The rationale behind the internship qualification is to allow the prospective missionary an opportunity to gain practical ministry experience before leaving for a foreign country. Internship can and should be a positive, productive experience for both the intern and the internship church.

We understand that it may not always be possible to obtain an “internship” position in a church. There are other avenues that may be pursed which can fulfill the internship requirement:

  • Pioneer a new church – this is a valuable way to gain practical experience. This type of internship would require a minimum of two or three years before the work could be turned over to another pastor.
  • Pastor an established church – this avenue provides a good opportunity to develop leadership and preaching skills.
  • Serve as an associate, full-time staff member – valuable experience can be obtained by working in an established church with an experienced pastor. It is important to be exposed to every facet of ministry under these circumstances. This must be a minimum of one year.
  • TEAM Missions – work with a veteran BBFI missionary in another country (requires a one- to three-year on-the-field commitment in the foreign country).

Missionary internship is the final chapter of the candidate’s preparation before his approval to the missionary service with the BBFI.

While there isn’t an obligatory checklist for what an internship should entail, it is important for the intern and the internship church to develop goals. This should include not only the tasks and duties that will be required but also what each part expects to gain from the internship. Following are some suggested areas in which an intern should gain some experience.

  • Building a youth or adult class
  • Preach as often as possible in all types of services (Sunday morning, evening and mid-week, senior citizen homes, rescue missions, jails, youth meetings, etc.)
  • Fill the pulpit for neighboring churches
  • Teach children of all ages
  • Training in soul willing, counseling, hospital calls and church family calls
  • Baptize occasionally
  • Involvement in the administration of the Lord’s Supper
  • Sit in and observe deacon meetings, committee meetings and budget planning meetings
  • Plan missions emphasis/conference and stewardship drives
  • Learn how to prepare effective promotional materials and communications
  • Be involved in fellowship meetings, youth rallies and camps
  • Develop platform confidence
  • Develop, plan and promote Sunday school campaigns, special events and church growth programs
  • Receive a respectable living wage and normal benefits
  • Acquire some basic knowledge of carpentry, auto mechanics, plumbing, electric work and construction
  • Receive financial training in personal and ministry budgeting
  • Accompany pastor to local and National Fellowship meetings
  • Reproduces their ministry in the life of the intern through personal training
  • Develops a close, personal, working relationship with a missionary family
  • Vision and commitment to missions increases because of this relationship
  • Could become the missionary’s “sending church” (every church should be a sending church!)
  • Gains practical experience by participating in or observing all aspects of the day-to-day operation of a church
  • Learns how to encourage, motivate and train others
  • Learns from an experienced pastor and observes as he ministers in difficult situations
  • Identifies his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • Becomes proficient in evangelism and discipleship in a local church setting
  • Helps to increase the vision of missions in the internship church
  • Make important contacts with possible future supporting pastors