Training for the Work Ahead: The RTIM Global Internship


Recently, Reaching & Teaching launched its Global Internship—a one-year program intended to equip men and women with ecclesiological and missiological tools and instincts that will prepare them for whatever assignments the Lord has for them. I’m excited about this internship for a few different reasons. 

At Reaching & Teaching, we send missionaries around the world to make mature disciples, establish healthy churches, and train local leaders. We take these tasks very seriously. But our goal isn’t just to partner with stateside churches. Our goal is to see healthy local churches around the globe full of members who make disciples. We want to train leaders wherever we go, which includes a desire to see the next generation of church leaders trained in their own churches by their own pastors.

Over the last year, I’ve become more and more alarmed with every story I hear of agencies and missionaries ignoring local churches on the field because of their reductionist ecclesiology and exclusivist missiology. We don’t want to do that. We’re convinced that the best way to fulfill the Great Commission is to send missionaries who instinctively and convictionally orient themselves toward the local church.

We don’t think twice about an electrician serving as an apprentice before going out on their own with the ability to harness potentially dangerous power for good. We understand why doctors need a residency before they perform life-and-death procedures.

So why wouldn’t missionaries need training, too? That’s the goal of our Global Internship—to provide necessary training for would-be missionaries.

In our understandable urgency to share the gospel with the lost overseas, we too quickly affirm and send underequipped and underdeveloped missionaries. But urgency shouldn’t produce unpreparedness. It should produce a laser-focused carefulness. 

War is urgent, but soldiers still need to be trained. Their equipment still needs to be tested. If we want to see healthy churches around the world, led by biblically qualified leaders committed to establishing more healthy churches, then we must send qualified missionaries. Why? Because the need is so urgent, and so complex.

* * * * *

Through the Global Internship, we’ve partnered together with like-minded churches to create a residency program for future missionaries. Our interns will work alongside a cohort of other future missionaries. They’ll join the same church, they’ll work through a reading list full of dozens of books, and they’ll write several papers based on what they’ve read. 

But they won’t just sit and read. They’ll scout out local ministry opportunities that are designed to help these future missionaries develop a deeper love for God’s program for global missions—the church.

And after six months of all that work, we’ll ship them across the world for another term of ministry at an English-speaking international church in Central Asia, East Asia, or the Middle East. Why an English-speaking church? Simply because it takes too long to gain the necessary proficiency to communicate the gospel in another language. We’ll only send interns to places with enough English-speaking non-Christians that will enable meaningful evangelistic ministry.

These churches are led by like-minded friends who are committed to continue the work of developing our interns’ ecclesiological and missiological convictions. Yes, there will be more reading and writing—and more ministry in the community through the church. But our ultimate goal is not only to teach our interns sound doctrine; we want to shape and in some cases overhaul their missiological instincts according to God’s Word. 

So, who’s this internship for? It’s for potential missionaries who feel both the urgency of the need and the necessity of proper training. It’s for those who want to experience life overseas for a year before they commit to long-term relocation. It’s for those who want to understand how faithful missiology proceeds from a biblical ecclesiology. 

Do you want to see healthy churches all around the globe? Then join us. Reach out to talk to one of our Mobilizers for more information.

Ryan Robertson

Ryan Robertson serves as President of Reaching & Teaching. He is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Missiology program at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ryan and his wife Erin have three children and are members of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where Ryan also serves as an elder.

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