We all have someone who made a difference in our lives.
Maybe it’s someone who taught you something new, or who encouraged you. Perhaps it’s someone who gave you an opportunity with their guidance before you were truly ready on your own — who saw something in you at an early stage that others didn’t.
For me, I think back to 2009. I was standing on the sanctuary platform to lead worship at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California, for the first time. But instead of the potential dread one might feel when staring out into 3500 seats, I remember experiencing the encouragement and confidence of the Lord through my supervisor and mentor John Stothers and my co-workers.
Many of us can point to critical moments like that in our lives — moments that either confirm a calling or help close a door. That specific morning, and throughout my entire time at Lake Ave, God was confirming a dream and a calling for me into ministry. It was a calling that my wife and I had leaned into as we left our tenured teaching jobs in New Jersey. Yes, it took our obedience. But it also took John’s spiritual discernment, courage, and heart for raising up leaders.
I can’t say that the church life of Lake Ave was radically changed by my presence over those two years. I can’t even say it looked that different after I left.
But, I can say that I changed.
I was different because of the intentional work of my supervisors and the larger heartbeat of that church for raising up leaders. They will always be difference-makers in my life.
Last summer Browncroft also began a new and intentional way to develop and raise up young leaders in ministry. Our first cohort of summer interns confirmed many things to us as a church. One of them was that this calling was for us.
Our interns were divided into ministry tracks where they could explore their unique and individual giftings while gaining experience in the work of the church. As we walked through spiritual and vocational leadership training, the cohort developed a camaraderie together as a group and with our staff. In fact, two of our summer interns have continued on with us in another year-long opportunity.
As I reviewed our interns’ closing reflections at the end of the summer, I was reminded of my own story. I remembered how a church and specific leaders came beside me, taught and encouraged me, and further prepared me for the work God was preparing for me at Browncroft.
And now we as a church get to be a part of this same work of raising up and preparing young leaders — helping them each discover the unique work that God has prepared.
We are currently accepting applications for this coming summer. Again, it’s a 10-week internship for young adults interested in practical ministry experience and training in one of 4 tracks (Communications, Family Ministry, Live Production, and Worship Leadership), as well as spiritual and leadership training. Over 25 hours each week, our interns will experience hands-on ministry and be a part of an amazing cohort, staff, and church body committed to reaching Rochester and beyond with the hope and good news of Jesus.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in discovering more about our internship program this summer I would love to talk with you!
Also, I ask all of us to pray. Please pray for this ministry and our commitment to raising up spiritually healthy and talented leaders. Together we’re becoming difference-makers in their lives.