The Pastoral Leadership internship program is for young adults aged 18-22. This ten-week program will provide young leaders the opportunity to experience pastoral work in the most “hands-on” way possible while being supported by a mentoring pastor and a teaching congregation. Briana Hutton served at New Covenant UMC in Wichita, Kansas, for the summer of 2016.
I preached three times while at New Covenant UMC and lead the Teen’s Sunday school class whenever possible. The experience was so much more then I could have asked for. I enjoyed every minute of it and I became so much more confident and passionate about preaching. It really opened my eyes and it was great to intentionally spend time in the word every day of the week. I felt as though while I was preaching I was connecting to every single person in the room and really ministering to them.
I worked about 40 hours every week. Toward the end of the July when multiple events and the mural painting were all going on at the same time it was a bit harder to balance my hours and some weeks I probably worked more than 40 hours, but the work load never felt like to much.
I have grown tremendously over the summer. I had this passion inside of me to want to preach, but I have always been to shy and not confident enough to share what the Holy Spirit was laying on my heart. This summer I have learned that I am called by God to become a preacher and he has been giving me the words this whole time. I have learned to be confident and no longer be afraid to speak. I don’t think I would have grown as much as I did if I was to any other place, it was defiantly God’s plan.
My host family was so much more than I could have ever asked for. They encouraged me, supported me, and gave the place to rest that I needed. They gave me space when I needed it, but also had a relationship with me. It was great getting to know them.
The best thing about the summer was getting to know the people at New Covenant UMC and be a part of their church. New Covenant is a very special church that welcomes everyone with open arms and will do anything to help you with your spiritual walk. I will never forget the love they showed me.
The hardest part was probably experiencing the ministry they did with addicts. It’s hard to minister to people and see them climb at of the hole of addiction and then see them fall back into it. You want them to be a success so badly and it takes a lot of time and patience to do it. You are with them every step of the way in the roller coaster of recovery. It’s a hard ministry and you really have to have the heart for it to be a part of it. The reward of seeing them succeed is wonderful, but the journey is rough.
At the beginning of the summer I was struggling with my call, trying to determine if I was meant to be a pastor or a chaplain. After doing pastoral care, hospital visits, Sunday school classes, preaching, a healing service, and many alter calls. I felt as though God was calling me to become a pastor. I was leaning toward becoming a chaplain at first because I really wanted to have one on one experiences with people and it just didn’t seem like you could achieve that standing up at a pulpit. But, after standing up and preaching about healing one Sunday, I realized preaching is a very personal thing. I can connect to every person in the room on a deep spiritual level. I can minister to all their souls at once. I also did some pastor care and realized that pastor’s still do things one on one, it’s not just preaching on Sunday. I don’t know if I would have ever learned that if I wouldn’t have done this internship. SaveSave