I was with Kevin Vollrath this week. He is one of our two Seminary Interns. He and I were catching up following Holy Week and Easter. In the days following Easter, my battery is low. So we headed to a coffeehouse for an afternoon cappuccino. As we drove, I asked Kevin about his experience of taking part in the worship leadership of a church during the busiest week of the year. “I took a nap on Easter Sunday afternoon,” he offered. Smart move, I thought. Kevin is learning about an important ministry tool: naps.
Kevin preached on Good Friday. He told me that two members of the church invited him to go out for dinner after the service that night. The members paid for the meal, of course. Kevin said that these two members have been taking out Seminary Interns for dinner on Good Friday for years. It’s a secret meal apparently. Interns only! Did I mind Kevin wondered? No, I told him, I don’t mind, I’m glad.
This secret Good Friday dinner is just one example of how well you take care of our Seminary Interns. The Members-Only Dinner is a reason why Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church is the gold standard for Field Education Sites at Princeton Seminary. It’s why we get one great intern after another. Seminary Students hear about great places to do their internships. Word travels quickly and far among students: where is the best ice cream, the best beer, and the best internships? Some churches are places to avoid and others are places to check out ASAP.
In addition to picking up the bill for our students at lunch or coffee, you give our students something else. You treat them like pastors—you ask for their insights on a tough personal problem facing you or your family, you seek out their prayers, you sit up listen attentively when they preach or teach a class. You treat them like you treat Bailey and me, which is to say, like gold!
I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t recruit at Princeton Seminary. I went over once some years for a recruitment night and I talked with one student. I don’t bother because the word is out that Thompson Church is a place to come for secret meals and open affection.
You’re batting a thousand when it comes to our interns, TMPC. Keep hitting them out of the park and into churches.