An Internship – what is it?


“An intern is a person who is a prospective Mission Partner and who has linked to WOI for a specific period of time in order to receive training and practical field experience under the supervision of an experienced Mission Partner.”  (Common Ground 2016 pg 13)


  1. To provide practical field experience in a real mission situation.
  2. For a person to work in a supported cross cultural environment under the supervision of an experienced WOI Mission Partner (Intern Mentor).
  3. To provide an opportunity for people to use and develop personal skills in a cross cultural setting, through a guided learning programme.
  4. To help people identify their role in cross cultural mission work.


  • An internship is for a period of 6 months to 2 years.
  • When the Internship is completed an Intern may return to their home country and not continue with missionary service or if they wish to continue in missionary service they can apply to World Outreach International to become a Mission Partner.


Age: 18 years and above


  1. Committed to the field for the pre determined period of Internship (6 months – 2 years)Willing to be mentored in cross cultural mission by an experienced missionary.
  2. To be teachable.
  3. Committed to the Intern learning programme.
  4. Desires to determine their call and future in cross cultural ministry.


  1. Attended the Kairos Course.
  2. Have a proven ministry aptitude and attitude in their local church community.


  • Has ministry and/or practical experience in their home culture but desires to work cross culturally.
  • Has skills and abilities that can be used in a specific ministry.

Home Church

  • Has the support and recommendation from their local church leadership.


  • Financial capacity: Is prepared to raise the financial and prayer support needed for the length of Internship.


  • The six week cross cultural Nations course is compulsory for those on an Internship for 1 -2 years. If the Internship is 6 months – 1 year the Nations course is optional but recommended. The cost of the course is at the expense of the Intern. The Nations course is held in Africa and Asia once each year.


An Intern needs to:

  1. Come to the mission field as a learner and to make it a priority to become a “growing participator” in the community.
  2. Develop positive relationships within the:
    • Ministry Team
    • Local church community (where appropriate)
    • Local community
  3. Communicate regularly with the Intern mentor relating to ministry.
  4. Undertake ministry as outlined in the ministry plan and discuss changes with the Mentor when required.
  5. Communicate regularly with their home church, and support team.


The Intern Mentor will:

  1. Meet with the Intern on a regular basis, or ensuring that a senior leader meets with the Intern.
  2. Guide the Intern through their specific ministry tasks and responsibilities.
  3. Give ongoing guidance, support, debriefing and coaching to the Intern throughout their cross cultural journey.
  4. Mentor and train the Intern so that their skills are maximised.
  5. Help with daily life issues the Intern faces.
  6. Debrief the Intern before their return to the home country.


Getting Started

An orientation period of one to two weeks is set aside when the Intern arrives on the field, so that the Intern becomes familiar with their new environment and ministry responsibilities.

The Task

A personalised Ministry Plan is a developed  for each Intern that uses their own individual set of skills and talents. This is developed with the Intern Mentor and the Intern that the Intern’s skills and talents can be used effectively in the ministry setting.

Talk the Talk

Learning the language is essential for an Intern to become an effective cross cultural worker if working in a culture that has a heart language different from the Interns. A guided language programme is provided. (There may be some situations when this is not needed).

You, Me and the Community

Understanding the host culture is vital to the success of anyone working cross culturally. Each month the Intern will have focused observations on various aspects of the new culture to help them appreciate and understand the culture.

Connecting with God

Developing your spirituality can be different in a cross cultural setting for a range of reasons.  Some of these being: difference in language, new relationships, change of support structures etc. It is important to learn how to grow in your faith in the new environment.

Me, Myself and I

Taking care of yourself  in a new cultural setting is important. Working in a cross cultural setting affects body, soul and spirit.  There are stressors on a person that materialise at different times and are different for each individual. These could be physical health, emotional health, relationship issues.

Therefore being able to track and deal with personal issues is important and vital to ongoing success in cross cultural ministry.

Going Home

Reentry to your home culture is the final step in your Internship. After working in a new culture there are many changes that take place in an individual. Some of these are obvious but many of them may be hidden.

It is important to take time before returning to your home culture to prepare so that you are aware of what challenges and changes you may face and have the skills to deal with them effectively.

Debriefing and Review

The Intern and Intern Mentor will evaluate the Internship. This would include strengths, limitations and areas for growth, for the Intern and the Intern Mentor and the programme in general.

Read Lynette’s testimony of her internship in Indonesia…



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