As I have mentioned a few times before on this blog I have been learning from Dr. Mark Dever and the team at CHBC since August as a “virtual intern” Dr. Dever leads six interns each semester with in a concentrated theological and practical study of ecccesiology. I was the seventh wheel participating in some elements of the internship while excusing myself from others for the sake of my church and family. My experience was quite memorable and I will use this post to share a few of my the ways the internship was helpful to me.
First, Dever’s study is amazing.. and the hub for much of what Goes on at CHBC during the week. His study is in his home just a few steps from the back door of CHBC’s downtown DC facility. The CHBC has purchased most of the homes on the street fro the staff to live in. Dever leaves his back door open when he is in and a steady stream of traffic is up and down the flight of stairs leading to his study.
A few major benefits that came from participating in the CHBC internship:
- Reading with Application – time will tell how much I retain from the reading and discussion… but unlike simple reading or studies in seminary the discussions of very old texts were applied to a modern church. And the implications were immediately discussed and compared in various settings.
- A Transferred Passion – Although I never heard Dever mention this it is clear to me that he is intensely committed to training young leaders and pastors. He spends an staggering amount of time with young men and spends hours each week reading what they have written. I want to mimic him in this area. I pray that as God grows our ministry that I will continually seek to influence young men who are called to ministry.
- Normalizing Missions – By far the most interesting thing I learned from Dever and CHBC is how to normalize missions. In my church for example… we talk about going on mission & spreading the gospel all the time in hopes that as people hear about it they will grab hold and go for it. CHBC has successfully created a culture in there church where the people do the missions an ministry – not programs thought up by the staff. I venture to say they are having more impact on and sending out more prepared missionaries than anyone in the beltway but doing it very discretely.
My only regret is that I didn’t do something like this before entering vocational ministry. I will continue meeting at CHBC with a small group of local pastors each month and continue to learn from the ministry. I strongly recommend young seminarians consider applying to the internship. For those of you who are already in ministry 9Marks offers Weekenders and T4G. If you live in VA, MD, DC region and would like to go to T4G I am organizing transportation and lodging for a large group – If you are interested feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.