What is the fruit of the MIP?
Mark Cary, state MIP coordinator of Virginia, tells his story.
I have been involved with the Ministerial Internship Program since coming through it as an intern in the 1990—1991 term. There are vivid memories etched in my mind from the sessions that were conducted by the members of the state Ministerial Development Board. Lessons learned under their tutelage have provided wisdom to make proper decisions when faced with various ministry challenges. I specifically remember a lesson taught by Rev. Chris Underwood that related to the subject of sermon preparation. He stated that he would not stand before his congregation and deliver a message unless it had first driven him to tears. The weight of that statement has stayed with me since the day he shared it. Friendships my wife and I formed during the MIP are still important to us today.
Some ten years after completing the MIP, I was invited to join the Virginia Ministerial Development Board. For nine years, I assisted with the monthly seminars by presenting lessons and advising interns. Many of the interns who came through the program during my time on the board are serving as pastors and staff pastors in congregations across Virginia today. It is always encouraging when one of those students seeks me out to share how a lesson that was taught has made an impact in his or her ministry.
Beginning in 2017, I became the state coordinator of MIP and CAMS for Virginia. Working with a gifted group of people who make up the board has been a tremendous honor. I’m thankful for the fact that I can draw on my experience as an intern, supervising pastor, board member, and coordinator in order to design and deliver a program of development that will equip men and women to fulfill their divine calling.
The past 40 years have produced an army of church leaders who are making a difference for the Church of God and for the Kingdom. As the door opens on the fifth decade, I’m excited to have a front-row seat to see what God will accomplish through the Church of God’s Ministerial Development initiative.