"How was your summer?" "What did you learn this summer?" "What was your favorite part of the summer?" These are all questions being thrown at me left and right as the best summer of my life draws to a close. My summer as an intern at Grace has been, as I describe it in my response to the above questions, "beyond words." I couldn't begin to put into words an adequate description of what I have learned and experienced this summer, but I am going to do my best.
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Grace on Pelham May 21st for the first official day of Kairos. I walked into a room of more than 20 people, knowing only 3 of them, then sat down behind a notebook and stack of books. I was completely clueless on what was about to hit me. I was quickly made aware that I would be serving with Children's Ministry, Fusion, AND 24Seven. After receiving multiple calendars and schedules from my ministry leads along with several meetings, my first day was over. The first week of my internship felt like pouring the Atlantic Ocean into a five-gallon bucket.
Ten weeks later, that first day feels like yesterday. The task lists have been completed, and the summer calendar has come to an end. My feelings were mixed as I thought about moving out of my host home and returning to college life. This summer, I learned more about myself, the church, and about the Lord than I could ever have imagined possible in a ten-week span. Through my experiences this summer, I have learned who I am and who I am not, who God is and who He is not, and what the church is and what it is not.
I found out very quickly this summer that I am even dumber than I thought I was! I can remember walking out of class after hearing Bill White or Matt Williams teach, and having nothing left in the tank to even begin my day. My brain was fried from having everything I believed in questioned and challenged, but it only took a few short days to realize how great of a blessing this was. I realized how important humility is to the learning process through the classes and teaching. The idea of me being under authority and being transparent played a huge role in the formation my view and striving towards humility.
My view of who God is has been transformed as well throughout the summer. I realized it's not in my job description to understand everything about Him. He is greater than I try to make Him to be, and His love is beyond comprehension, so I should praise Him for choosing to love me instead of trying to earn or understand that love. Nothing I do can rid God of His supreme sovereignty, and that gives me a peace beyond measure.
In one of the first Kairos classes of the summer, Jeremy Keever talked about what the Church is and what it isn't. My idea of the Church (little "c" and big "C") had been formed or deformed by my Southern Baptist upbringing and the Southern Baptist University I attend. It was refreshing and encouraging to be immersed in a gospel-centered and biblically oriented church with such a strong heart for community. These three aspects were absent from any church I have ever been a part of, and are my foremost motives in pursuing my membership at Grace.
I am thankful for Grace Church and the people who made this internship possible. I am excited for the momentum gained this summer, both in my life and in Grace Church, and I am looking forward to what God has planned for the future.
- Caleb Phillips, Children's Ministry Kairos Intern