“Given the command of Christ to proclaim the gospel to all nations, and the reality that those who have not heard are damned in their sins to eternal hell, the church ought to have a deep sense of urgency. However, we must be careful not to confuse this urgency with hastiness. It was the apostle Paul, the most urgent gospel minister in Christian history, who warned us to avoid being ‘hasty in the laying on of hands.’ Rather, he exhorted us to qualify and train faithful men who could carry the gospel to the nations. It is thus the privilege and burden of Christ’s church to take up that duty with the utmost seriousness.”
~Chad Vegas, Pastor and Founding Member of Radius International
The XL Missions Internship is offered to help local churches train up missionaries before they go to further specialized training and then to the mission field. XL’s conviction is that the primary responsibility—and privilege—to train and prepare their missionaries to adequately fulfill the great commission lies with the local church (Ephesians 4:11-12). A two-week or one-month ‘boot camp’ or seminar, which is most common for many of the largest sending agencies, is hardly enough preparation for what missionaries will face on the field.
The missions internship with XL Ministries is 24 months. The schedule is a collection of Bible-based assignments along with hands-on, one-on-one mentorship of the intern from someone in their local church. The mentor is most often a pastor or someone who has been approved by the church leadership to be a mentor. Rather than sending potential missionaries away to a seminary to learn ministry, XL Ministries provides the schedule, the curriculum, and the oversight to guide mentors through teaching and shaping the next generation of both missionaries and church leaders in their own church.
XL’s conviction is that missionaries must be trained in substantial biblical and theological knowledge before they leave the local church, and that includes our belief that both men and women who are going to the field must be equally trained. While we firmly believe that only men are to be pastors and elders, we recognize the unique situation of single women and wives on the field, who will often be the only ones available to teach the indigenous women. In order to plant healthy churches, all missionaries, men and women, must be theologically sound and able to both teach sound doctrine and refute false doctrine.
“The concept of pastors training pastors is not a new idea in the Christian faith. In fact, I suppose no Christian leaders would deny the value of pastoral discipleship. Nevertheless, the traditional process in our culture for training a man for ministry is often divorced from the life of the very church where he acknowledged his call to ministry. Pastoral training has not always been separated from the local church as it often is today. I don’t believe that churches intentionally avoid taking the primary responsibility for overseeing the training of a man in their church. We have simply become accustomed to sending our men away, assuming that an educational institution adequately prepares them for a lifetime of ministry. I don’t believe educational institutions think they are sufficient, in and of themselves, for training pastors. In fact, I suspect most of them would be thrilled if the church took a much more active role in training.”
~Rocky Wyatt, President, XL Ministries
XL Ministries internships don’t start by going away to a campus or signing up for an internet course. Getting started begins in your home church and the internship is conducted at your home church. The church’s pastors and/or elders become mentors for people from within the church they serve. Thus, the first step is for the local church leadership to apply with XL Ministries to offer the XL internship.
Approval for a church to offer the XL Ministries internship begins with a short conversation between XL and the local church leadership. Click the application button to request to speak with XL Ministries leadership. From there you will be guided through the application process.
After a church has been approved to offer the XL internship program, the pastors or elders of the church can recommend someone as an intern. A recommended intern should be someone the pastors or elders have heard teach and believe is gifted to teach. Once a recommendation has been made, XL will invite the potential intern to apply.
The local church should know the character, maturity and spiritual disciplines of their future missionaries. A biblical and theological foundation is a necessity, but so is character. They must demonstrate a faithfulness to the Lord that others can follow. The local church will only know this as they spend a considerable amount of time with the missionary interns. You cannot know the hearts of people from a distance. This will mean meeting regularly, putting the interns in difficult situations to see how they respond, watching their marriage and their parenting, and watching how they interact with others.
Over the two years of the internship, do they have the discipline to learn the biblical and theological knowledge that is expected of them and, just as importantly, do they have the spiritual maturity in the key areas of their lives to be missionaries in a foreign culture? It is much better to find out those answers now, when they can be shepherded and guided, than to send them out to potentially fail because these important things were not addressed beforehand.
For each internship, the XL Ministries Ordination Training manual is used to help guide the intern through their education. It’s composed of four areas of focus: Bible Knowledge, Systematic Theology, Biblical Counseling, and Apologetics. The Bible knowledge memorization includes the theme and outline of each book of the Bible, plus the key chapters, passages, people and dates for the book. The systematic theology written assignments cover theology proper,