About two weeks ago I finished up my youth ministry internship in York, PA at Church of the Open Door. I posted a few blogs throughout the summer about what I was doing, but wanted to post one last blog reviewing my whole internship. First, it was one of the best summers of my life. I have enjoyed the youth ministry classes over the past few years at PBC, but it was great to finally be in youth ministry for a summer and gain practical experience that I could not have got in the classroom. Second, I am thankful for PBC having a such a great youth internship program that is required for all student ministry minors. Not only am I thankful for the internship PBC supplies, but am thankful for all the great things the youth pastor of COD, Brett Ayers, allowed me to be part of. A few of these things were a trip to Canada, co-leading a Jr. High mission trip, helping plan/run a three night event, teaching a Jr. High Sunday school class, teaching and leading two mid-week services, and many other things.
It would take too much time for me to review in detail the whole summer so I want to reflect on the major thing I learned this summer through my internship. The major thing I learned this summer is the importance of relationships in ministry. Let me explain, I came out of and also volunteered in a great youth ministry which was extremely program based. Don’t get me wrong, I love that youth ministry and God is using it to do great things in the life’s of students. The fact still remains that because of the meeting space and other circumstances the youth ministry is more centered around programs. When I got to the youth ministry of COD this summer the first thing that caught my eye was how relationship based the youth ministry was. Throughout the summer I learned that the personality of the youth pastor and youth leaders where the same, very relationship oriented. Also, the students themselves where extremely relational. This was a hard shift for me because I am very task driven, but I had to learn how to be relational, especially in the area of youth ministry.
Let me sum it up like this, my youth professor at PBC, Shean Phillips, says that the equation for discipleship is this: appropriate relationships + Biblical teaching = Discipleship. I learned this first hand this summer! I have a passion to teach students the Bible, but lack in the area of building meaningful relationships with them. God knew I had a heart to teach students the Bible, but He knew I needed to learn that true discipleship doesn’t happen with teaching alone, it takes a relationship as well. I am thankful that God placed me in a ministry that taught me this and showed me the importance of relationships in ministry. God allowed me to build some strong relationships with students this summer and when I had the privilege to teach them the Bible I saw that my teaching was so much more impactful in their life’s because I had a relationship with them.
So what’s next for me you may be wondering? I’m glad you asked! Tomorrow I will be starting my pastoral internship also required by PBC for pastoral minors. I am doing this internship at Lifechange/Weymouth Community Church under lead pastor Dan Jarvis. This internship is my last piece of education at PBC so I will be graduating this May! I plan to start seminary through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in January online. I will be posting blogs throughout this internship as well. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me this summer and please continue to pray for me as I do this next internship.