Thursday, February 16, 2006


Would you believe that I have an intern? A young man named Kor, from the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede, is actually serving as a full-time intern with Zolder50 for two months, as a part of his Godsdienst Pastoraal Werk training. It's a pretty interesting experience.

To be honest, I feel like a poser much of the time. The notion of me being a legitimate "church leader" with a real seminary student shadowing my everyday interactions feels fantastic and fanciful -- like my four-year-old son pretending to be a firefighter or a bumblebee. Granted, even the negative voices in my head concede that the experience may be more or less benign -- I don't worry about leaving any negative effect on the guy -- but I find myself questioning if or which positive lessons I might be able to affect during our eight weeks together... I find it incredibly ironic that the Dutch word for "internship" is "stage."

Kor hasn't seemed to notice, though. He seems genuinely pleased with the opportunity to learn in the context of Zolder50, and he tells me that the experience has already been immensely beneficial. He's sat in on strategic discussions about the worship aspect of Zolder50. He's blended in with two different home groups, to get a deeper sense of the community aspect of our church. He's observed the operational outworkings of coaching sessions with various members of our staff team. He's working to help us pull off a neighborhood outreach, bringing the ministry aspect of Zolder50 to bear on a senior citizens' center that's just around the corner. And he's even taking a crack at some small-scale teaching and Bible instruction. All in all, it seems like Kor is getting a fairly well-rounded perspective on church leadership, and he's learning a lot.

The truth is that I'm learning a lot through mentoring Kor as well.

I'm getting a fresh look at our church community, through the eyes of an inquisitive "outsider." I'm learning how to better describe and explain the various elements of our core beliefs, casual customs, and church culture in general. I'm learning how to connect with and envision young Dutch Christians for the task of expanding God's Kingdom in the Netherlands... And I'm learning that perhaps I'm not such a poser after all. As much as I can feel like an imaginative little boy, acting out my daily existence on the stage of Amsterdam, it's increasingly dawning on me that I actually do have something to offer. Seven years of experience in church leadership on two continents... helping to start and maintain a new faith community in the heart of post-modern Amsterdam over the past three years... teaching, coaching, and discipling dozens (if not hundreds) of young men and women from all corners of the globe... I don't want hubris to get the best of me -- but maybe I do have something to offer!

I just have to keep memorizing the lines from the Script and following the Director of the production. Then anyone joining me as an understudy on this Stage of life will be able to learn their role as we go.


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Interesting post - I like the way you 'play' with language (or is it the langueages that plays with us?)

On a different note: cool, I went to the same college as Kor!

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Marco said...

Eric, I'm afraid this comment has nothing to do with your post, but your blog has just been tagged. Just see if you're interested in answering the questions on your blog...

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you, Eric. I think everyone feels like a poser some of the time. I know I have a lot lately. But I'm glad you're realizing just how much you can really do. I know I'm not alone in looking up to you, and we've got good reason to do so.

And, being the Shakespeare nut I am, I couldn't resist this obvious quote:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."

I'm glad we shared some scenes together, and I hope we get many more.


At 2:31 PM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

That's funny, Shawn... I was actually thinking about trying to work the Shakespeare quote into my post, but couldn't figure out where it would best fit in. Now you've done it for me! I too hope for an encore performance together in the Theater of Life (this is a funny reference if you've ever seen "The Man Who Knew Too Little")...


Post a Comment

<< Home