XL Ministries is a Christian organization that is passionate about training pastors, missionaries, and lay elders for effective ministry. The organization is founded on the principle that the church should take primary responsibility for training its future leaders. The pastoral internship offered by XL Ministries has two primary focuses – lead/associate pastoring or youth pastoring, and anyone who wants to be a pastoral intern can choose either. The internship is designed to provide hands-on mentorship and Bible-based assignments. The goal of XL Ministries is to shape and guide mentors in teaching their church leadership right in their own church.
XL Ministries has a unique approach to pastoral training that is based on the biblical model of discipleship. The interns are not sent away to a seminary to learn ministry. Instead, XL Ministries provides the curriculum, the schedule, and the oversight to guide mentors through teaching and shaping their own church leadership right there in their own church. The mentor is most often a pastor or someone who has been approved by the leadership of that church to be a mentor.
The pastoral internship is a 24-month program, but if the intern is also in seminary while being an intern, their schedule will be extended to either 30 or 36 months. The interns are trained for ministry as they faithfully fulfill the Great Commission. They are taught to share the gospel and are given the opportunity to demonstrate both giftedness and the biblical qualifications that God has established. As they mature in their faith and are affirmed by the church, they will eventually be able to assume the pastoral role.
XL Ministries believes that the church and its leaders must take seriously their role in biblical discipleship for this model to work as God has designed. The concept of pastors training pastors is not a new idea in the Christian faith. However, the traditional process in our culture for training a man for ministry is often divorced from the life of the very church where he acknowledged his call to ministry. Pastoral training has not always been separated from the local church, as it often is today. The pastors and elders of the church should become mentors for people from within the church they serve.
Getting started with XL Ministries is easy. The internship program does not begin by going away to a campus or signing up for an internet course. It begins in your home church, and the internship is conducted at your home church. The first step is for the local church leadership to apply with XL Ministries to offer the XL internship. Approval for a church to offer the XL Ministries internship begins with a short conversation between XL and the local church leadership. From there, the church is guided through the application process.
Once a church has been approved to offer the XL internship program, the pastors or elders of the church can recommend someone as an intern. A recommended intern should be someone the pastors or elders have heard teach and believe is gifted to teach. Once a recommendation has been made, XL will invite the potential intern to apply.
XL Ministries believes that God has assigned the leaders of every local church the responsibility to identify and equip the next generation of the church’s leadership. However, many pastors and churches have completely abandoned that responsibility. XL Ministries believes that it is time for pastors and churches to reshoulder their Christ-assigned duty to identify and equip the next generation of church leaders. For that to happen, the hands-off training model must be exchanged for a more biblical one.
XL Ministries believes that the pastoral internship program can be a valuable experience for anyone who wants to become a pastor or a missionary. The internship is designed to provide the interns with the tools they need to be effective leaders in their local churches. XL Ministries believes that the interns will be better equipped to serve their congregations and communities after completing the internship program. Through the internship, interns will gain practical experience in ministry, learn how to teach and disciple others, and develop a biblical worldview.
XL Ministries also provides ongoing support for the interns and the mentor throughout the internship program. Mentors are given guidance on how to train and equip their interns, and interns receive regular feedback and evaluation from their mentors. XL Ministries also hosts regional training conferences for mentors to further equip them for their role.
XL Ministries is committed to training pastors and leaders who are passionate about reaching the lost and discipling believers. They believe that the local church is the key to the future of the church, and that pastors and leaders should be trained in the context of the local church. With a biblical approach to pastoral training and a commitment to mentoring and discipleship, XL Ministries is helping to shape the future of the church by equipping the next generation of leaders.