Today is a special day for a number of my fellow Church of God brothers and sisters in South Carolina who have completed MIP. The Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) is a nine month intensive program for those individuals who have successfully completed and attained the first rank of credentialed ministry in the Church of God. In short, during this nine months the candidate and their spouse will sit under a supervising Pastor, meet each month in a class room setting for instruction, complete book work daily, and be tested each month on material studied.
This is a great step in moving forward in ministry. This program is draining, intensive, and can be intimidating. Having completed MIP in 2011 myself, I can say that I am better for having gone through it. Though it may be the things listed above, it is most importantly worthwhile. Paul instructed Timothy in our Holy Scriptures to “Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed.”
Having completed MIP you are now able to study and prepare for the next rank of Credentials in the Church of God, that of Ordained Minister. Remember, completing MIP should not be seen as an arrival. To complete MIP doesn’t mean we have arrived. It’s simply a fuel stop along the journey of ministry. If I had the opportunity to speak into the life of those completing MIP as well as those starting in ministry here is my one piece of advice. This is that one thing which we should hang on our wall and write on our hearts.
Don’t allow your passion for other things to be more superior than your passion for the Gospel.
It’s easy to get sidetracked in lesser important things than what we are called to. We are called to be about Gods business. His business is His word. Our life must be about sharing his business with others. No matter if you are full time, bi-vocational, or simply working in a field other than “church” work. Your greatest passion must be about the gospel. Share his word that’s what you are called to do.
Having completed MIP, what’s one piece of advice you would give today’s MIP graduates for their next steps in ministry.