Purpose

The purpose of this internship is to provide a mentored, immersive, cross-cultural ministry experience for young people discerning the shape of their contribution to the re-evangelization of the post-Christian West.

Growth focuses 

  • Skills for immersive cross-cultural ministry, applicable in any setting
  • Familiarization with a functional language learning model
  • Developing tools for asset-based community development
  • Interpersonal skills for partnered and team-based mission
  • Dependence upon the leading and equipping of the Holy Spirit
  • Application of Bible teaching and theological reflection to practical ministry
  • Guided vocational discernment for service in either the church or the world

Mission field

The location of this internship is Central Estonia. Estonia is one of Europe’s most secular countries frequently citing professing and practicing Christians at less than 5%. Evangelistic and church planting efforts have been ongoing, especially since Estonia reclaimed independence in 1991 after 50 years of occupation by the Soviet Union. Most of this attention has been focused on urban areas and contexts with institutional advantage.

However, a significant portion of the Estonian population lives in rural areas and even urban dwellers retreat to the countryside for community and leisure. In recent years young families have begun to look again to the countryside for a stable, sustainable, connected lifestyle not afforded in urban settings. After more than 20 years of service in Estonia’s rural areas, we are not unaware of the difficulties of mission in these places but are convinced that a successful rural mission strategy is an essential part of any evangelization effort.

For these reasons, this internship joins a decades long effort to develop a missional strategy for reaching underrepresented and institutionally disadvantaged rural spaces and contributing to the development of local, connectional, adaptable, and sustainable church-based movements in rural areas.

Internship design

This internship pairs each qualified international with a same-sex Estonian partner in ministry teams for a summer of cross-cultural ministry immersion. Estonian partners will provide cultural familiarity and function while international partners provide companionship and fresh perspective.

Each 2-person team will be deployed from one to three times over the course of the summer to join different rural congregations in their efforts to declare and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom in their locale.

The internship will begin with 2 weeks of orientation and practical training. Each deployment will build incrementally on this foundation with a 2-week immersion in a local-church context followed by 1 week of mentored debriefing, training and rest at home-base with other ministry teams. The internship will conclude with 1 week of debriefing and reflective vacation and conclude with a commissioning event.

3 Deployment Sample Schedule (June 5 – August 25, 2023)

Weeks 1 and 2 – Orientation and Training

Week 1- Arrival and orientation

  • Arrive in Estonia and settle into “home-base”
  • Skills and perspectives for partnered ministry; team building
  • Introduction to cultural observation and language learning

Week 2 – Training

  • Introduction to missional theology
  • Introduction to rural mission in Estonia
  • Introduction to ABCD and Mission Mapping

Weeks 3-11 – Deployments 1, 2 and 3

Preparation week (accompanied by mentor on first deployment)

  • Join partners on-site and setup accommodations
  • Observe, map and interpret local context
  • Seek out persons of peace
  • Prepare for ministry week

Ministry week (team only for every deployment)

  • Join partners in ministry tasks or assigned challenges
  • Continue observation, mapping and interpretation
  • Build towards sacred conversation with PoPs
  • Connect PoPs to local or nearby believers

Debriefing week (with mentor for every deployment)

  • Return to home-base
  • 2 days of sabbath, detox and reflection
  • Debrief deployment
  • Training, team-building

Week 12 – Debriefing and Vision Quest

  • Self-evaluation, partner evaluation
  • Ministry site evaluations
  • Vision quest style reflective adventure
  • Commissioning

If you are interested in applying for this internship or know of some one who might be, please get in touch via email (matthew dot edmister at gmail dot com).

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