What do a Wholehearted Christian Life and a Great Ministry Internship Program Have in Common?

They’re both holistic.

I see strong parallels between the elements needed for a wholehearted Christian life and that of a great ministry internship program – or “residency” as we call it at Mission Hills. I would summarize it in one word, “holistic.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word holistic as “Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.”

Ministry Development Program

That’s what we try to do in our Ministry Development Program here at Mission Hills Church. The Ministry Development Program is our residency training program for those pursuing or exploring a calling to full time vocational ministry as a career. People join the residency program part-time for 8 months in order to gain practical experience in church ministry and to be equipped in the areas of Heart, Head, and Hands. These are integrated parts which all need to be developed together for us to become like Jesus and join him on mission.

What does working on these three areas of Heart, Head, and Hands look like in both the normal Christian life and in the Ministry Development Program?

There is a lot of overlap between practices that can help us develop and live out our Heart, Head, and Hands relationship with God, but let’s try to separate them out a bit. These are just a few suggested ideas:


God says to us through the prophet Jeremiah that “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13), so let’s open our hearts to him so that he can touch us and transform us, and let’s do all we can to seek him!

1. Worship: God can touch our heart in many ways but one way he really touches mine is through worship. We can worship him together as a community in weekend services or through listening to worship. Some ideas for that are listening to a Christian radio station such as K-Love, Way FM, or Grace FM. Another great option is listening to the Mission Hills Worship playlist on YouTube!

2. Outreach: Another way that our heart can grow to become more like Jesus is through being on mission through outreach with our local and international partners. Mission trips have significantly impacted my life, making me far more appreciative of what I have and giving me God’s compassion for others. Why not consider going on a short term trip!

In the Ministry Development Program we try to grow in our heart for God through having talks given to the group of residents on subjects like Lifelong Transformation, Spiritual Formation, and Managing Your Heart in Ministry, and in addition to group time together as a cohort we have one-to-one time looking at these things.


Jesus exhorted us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). He wants us to love him with our minds (Head) just as much as our hearts and soul.

We can grow in our knowledge and love of God and receive his guidance for our lives in a variety of ways:

3. Weekend Messages: As mentioned above, attending weekend services is a great way to grow in our faith as we can hear bible based talks that will encourage, equip, and challenge us. If you’re not able to visit in person you can always watch online!

4. Bible Study: A wonderful way to learn about God and his ways and to stimulate our minds all at the same time is to attend a weekly bible study. There are a variety of days and times that you can do that which can be found at our Group Finder.

In the Ministry Development Program in addition to the earlier mentioned talks we also have presentations on subjects that are more “Head” focused such as Leadership Lessons, Communications + Marketing, Leading Through Change, and Apologetics Do’s + Don’ts.


The apostle James says that he “will show you my faith by my deeds” (James 2:18) and encourages us to do the same.

5. Service: There are a load of ways that you can get practically involved in service both at Mission Hills Church or at our Life Center, or with our local partners. These opportunities can be found at our Serve Finder.

In the Ministry Development Program all three of these areas of Heart, Head, and Hands are developed in the residents Hands time which they spend serving in different ministry areas of the church, such as worship, outreach, Next Gen, Groups ministry etc. In their respective teams they learn how to do the relevant job day-to-day with all of their Heart, Head, and Hands.


Take the Next Step

Take one of these next steps so that you too can grow in all of these areas, or engage with any other ideas that will help you grow in your faith so that you become like Jesus and join him on mission.

And if you know anyone who thinks that they might be called to a career in vocational ministry and want to prepare themselves for that, please point them to our Ministry Development Program webpage where they can find out more!

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Matt Rhodes

✍️ Credit | Steven Allin
Ministry Development Program Associate Director

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🎨 Credit | Eric Price
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