XL Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting eXcellence in Leadership through quality Christian training. It was started in 1992 by three youth pastors who had seen a number of men quit or fail in the ministry, in part attributed to poor or incomplete training. Although many of these men had seminary or Bible school education, they did not have sufficient hands-on training to deal with the difficulty and complexity of working in the church. The founders of XL Ministries, Inc. realized that “hands-on” training would be very beneficial to those who are pursuing ministry, as long as it is supervised by an experienced pastor. In this way interns can be exposed to the rigors, failures and triumphs of ministry in an environment that is protective of both the interns and the people with whom they work.
Most internships of this type last about three months – a time barely sufficient to be oriented in a church, much less be involved in multiple aspects of ministry. A two-year program was proposed: one year to watch and work with the pastor in the particular area of ministry that is being pursued, and the second year to individually oversee much of the ministry. Thus, the basic structure of XL Ministries, Inc. began to take shape.
In the first three years, XL Ministries, Inc. completed a youth pastor training manual, developed an intense two-year training program, began training a number of interns and developed a computer bulletin board that provided a variety of resources. Currently XL Ministries has developed over fifty resources and provides internship training in Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Pastoral Ministry and Missions.
The concept of training pastors within the context of the local church is presented throughout Scripture and is summed up in 2 Timothy 2:2:
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” NASB
All of the internships include training in biblical theology, systematic theology, and practical theology. Interns are required to acquire a significant number of resources over their two years of training and they have a broad range of responsibilities within the area of ministry they are pursuing. The Pastor who oversees the internship provides regular guidance and evaluation in each area of ministry where the intern serves.
Those of us involved in XL Ministries, Inc. by no means think we have learned all there is to know about God or about ministry. It is a joy for each of us to continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord. We are exceedingly grateful for God’s Word, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.