"It was the summer before my junior year of High School when I first felt God call me into ministry."

I grew up in church and had always been very involved, playing in the worship band and serving on the leadership team, but I had never really considered going into full-time ministry. It wasn’t until IYC 2006 when I really felt God calling me to go into ministry. After that summer I got the opportunity to serve in the Middle School ministry, leading a small group of 8th grade girls on Sunday mornings, and the following year my youth pastor, Chip Taylor, asked me to be a Coach in Training, working with a group of 6th grade girls. It was during these two years that I realized how much I loved working with Middle School students and realized that this was what God was calling me to do.

I decided to pursue my call to ministry by attending Anderson University and in the fall of 2008 I began as a freshman, majoring in Bible & Religion and Youth Ministry. I also got connected to Madison Park Church of God and began serving as a leader in the Jr. High ministry as a 6th grade small group leader. It was about half way through my freshman year that Chip invited me to apply for the summer internship program at my home church, Bayside Community Church of God.

Going into the internship I was really nervous about a lot of things, but after meeting the other interns and going through our first day of orientation, I had a really good feeling about how the summer was going to go. After that day, the summer seemed to fly by. We were constantly in go-mode, planning events, going on trips and spending time with students, but it seemed like every day I learned something new about myself and about ministry. Being part of this internship helped me to grow as a leader and gave me a glimpse of what being in full time ministry really looks like. The Intern Academy classes covered a wide range of topics that were all relevant to working in student ministry. Some of the classes were focused on our own spiritual and personal lives, while others were intended to teach us important lessons about working in youth ministry and running an effective ministry ourselves. Throughout the summer we worked both as a team and individually to put on events and plan trips, but with every experience we were challenged to do our best and encouraged to live up to our full potential, helping us grow into strong leaders.

Going through this internship was not easy. I was put into a lot of challenging situations, which stretched me and helped me grow. Coming out of the summer, I know that I am a much stronger person and leader, and much more secure in my call to ministry. The challenges that I faced and the experiences that I had gave me a lot of confidence in myself and in the person that God has called me to be. The lessons that I learned during this internship have helped me feel prepared to go into ministry and the relationships I have built have encouraged me to continue following God and letting him challenge me and use me as I pursue my call to ministry.