This is part two of a conversation with Andy Dykhouse from Nebraska Christian College on six core principles of residency at a local church.

Andy: The fourth marker I’m looking for at a residency location is a commitment from the actual staff supervisor. Can this ministry leader develop a resident? If he has never done it, then I need to know if he or she is committed to leaning in for coaching and conversations.

Me: “Just follow me around, and you’ll get it,” doesn’t work anymore.

Andy: Correct. It’s not 1978, right? This is complex. Most of the students I’m pushing on are just juniors or seniors in college. We are accelerating their experiences. So there has to be some willingness there, and this brings me to number five—a commitment for a weekly one-on-one.

For staff members who’ve never had a resident or managed paid staff, a weekly one-on-one sounds easy, until you do it. We ask for an hour of developmental conversations weekly.

Me: Beyond the work.

Andy: Correct. Beyond evaluation of events, to-do lists, what’s coming up next week, etc. This is about that student—character issues, work issues, competency learning and coaching. It’s not easy, and it takes solid commitment.

Finally, the sixth element I’m looking for is for some sort of compensation and housing. Churches are all over the map on this one, but there has to be something there that demonstrates value.  The housing piece is tricky. So far, it’s all worked out and students wind up in good places with supportive families who view this similarly to having an exchange student living with them.  This becomes another coaching opportunity and growth edge for the resident, the staff member, and even the family.

Me: Hey, where you going? Am I buying again?

Andy: Umm...yeh I forgot my wallet again.