Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kairos Internship Reflection - Katie Horton

One of the questions I get about once a week is, "How is your internship going?" I know that in a couple of days, that question will be a past tense question, and I'm just going to have to embrace that. But for now - I never really  know exactly what to say. Don't get me wrong, the internship has been fantastic and life-changing for me. But how do you describe to someone a time in your life where the Lord absolutely rocked you? It's been hard to describe to others the growth and changes that have occurred when I am still trying to figure it all out myself. It hasn't always been easy to learn what I have about myself, and the areas that I need to grow in, but it's great to walk through that in a safe environment.

I guess the best way to share this with others is to pick a few things that I have been learning. I know that I spoke to this to some degree in an earlier post, but I feel like I could easily spend hours telling people about my internship.

From Children's Ministry, I learned the importance of doing behind the scenes work. In the past, most of my ministry and service has been up front and visible, something I have loved. This summer, however, my role in Children's Ministry was the opposite of that. I spent my days in the office cutting paper and prepping for bin stocking each week. It took me a while to realize how important this part of ministry is. It was good for me to see how much prep-work has to be done in order to have Children's Ministry run each week.

From Student Ministry, I learned that stepping outside of my comfort zone is a good thing, and that I need to do it more often. I'm an Early Childhood Education major, so hanging out with children is something that I am familiar with and am gifted in. Hanging out with middle- and high-schoolers, however, is a completely different scenario. As uncomfortable as it was for me at times, I quickly learned that Student Ministry is something that I love and have a passion for. Those students taught me far more than I taught them, and demonstrated a passion for the Lord that encouraged me greatly. I'm excited to get to hang out with them some this year!

I learned the importance of really digging into and studying the Word. Typically, when I would read scripture, it would be a surface level reading and I didn't really have much of a desire to understand the context behind it. However, in class we have learned the importance of understanding scripture in its context. I've learned that in order to enhance my understanding and application of scripture, I should first look at how the original audience would have interpreted it.

From my co-workers, I learned about community and how necessary laughter is. If you haven't spent time with the interns yet, it's a shame. They are some of the most hilarious people I have ever met, I ten to take myself and other things way too seriously, and need people to make me laugh about situations and life, and stop stressing about things. I quickly learned that it was hard to take yourself seriously around them, and that I needed to lighten up and laugh some more. At the same time, however, it's not just fun and games. In class, I learned they are also incredibly wise and knowledgeable about the Bible. They taught me so much and really helped me walk through what we were learning, and what I was going through outside of work. I can't explain how grateful I am for their friendships, and I truly hope that they will continue as we all go our separate ways. They have been incredible community to me, and a huge blessing this summer!

On a practical scale, I learned how to work under different types of management. I have never had a "real" job before where I report to people and have assignments that I turn in, and so the whole experience was an adjustment. Because I was split between two different ministries, I was switching gears between different managing styles and environments. I had to learn how to multi-task, prioritize, and work in different settings. There were times when this was difficult for me because I like to zone in and focus on things, but I know that in the real world, that is not always going to be the case. It was good for me to gain some practical skills in a setting where people are gracious and are willing to walk through things with me.

I am so thankful for the experience that I have been able to have this summer. I know the things that I have learned about scripture and about myself are things that have changed my life in a way that I can't even describe. Not only am I leaving with knowledge, but I'm leaving having gained a community and a church family. As sad as I am about Kairos ending, I know that I have been well prepared to head out into the world to minister to others and spread the Gospel of Christ.

- Katie Horton, Children's Ministry Kairos Intern

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