Reflections of a Church Planting Intern: Week 1

Why am I writing this? I was asked to do so. As some of you may be aware for the summer, I will be serving as The Acts2 Church’s first ever intern. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to obtain some really practical experience in the world of church planting which has really captivated my heart over the last year or so. It sounds like a glorious and fantastic role that comes with all the crazy benefits of working at a church plant that is 2-2.5 years old. Firstly, I must say I am very fortunate to have someone leading me in this internship who has been mentoring me over the past couple of years. He told me he wanted to see me continue in what he knew was the strongest extension of my thought process and that was writing. So, naturally, I said that I would do so. You’ll have to forgive how unstructured this is as I’m really not sure how all of this is going to work or look like yet. Thank you in advance for your patience and grace in all of this.

There was a lot of unknowns going into this and there are still quite a few unknowns. The timing for my start last week was fortuitous but for reasons that were unfortunate yet providential all the same. The week I was supposed to start was hijacked by a hospital stay and surgery for my “boss” Ben’s wife and good friend Heather. I call her mom. Perhaps I should count that as my first week of my internship after all since it consisted of visiting her in the hospital. That’s what you do as a pastor, right? Of course, I joke.

A little.

My first actual week was this past week which was actually really convenient. Not really for me so much but for the church because we moved into a new space. I took part in the move which was done pretty efficiently. We had maybe 10-15 people assisting in tearing down and moving everything we had from one end of the building to the other. While we didn’t have a long way to move we did end up having a lot of stuff. I don’t think anyone really calculated just the amount of stuff that we had once it was all moved out of its proper space. So, as a church we moved and it was a beautiful thing almost. It wasn’t the most efficient or professional move but it was people on one focused mission volunteering their free time out of their Sunday to work together. There’s just something about it that makes me look back and wonder…

Why can’t we coexist like this all the time?

The remainder of the week for me was completing one specific task. Ben and I went up to Lowe’s, picked up a Rug Doctor and brought it back to the new A2. My job was to clean all the carpets. I know some might complain or whine that their’s no glory or honor in that or that it’s beneath me because I have talents that could be put to better use, etc. I recall pondering this stance, not because that’s what I thought of the task but because I know there would be the temptation to grumble because of thinking like that. So, my response to the voices in my head that thought it was a menial job and I could be better utilized?

“Exactly”

I put in my headphones and got to work. No complaining, no whining, no grumbling. If I have learned anything from the service trips and projects I’ve been on is that it complaining profits nothing and humility is everything. After the first few rooms I even found that I found a fair amount of joy in what I was doing. It’s a strange feeling for me to be content with anything but with the music going I fell into my own rhythm.

I thought I could clean carpets and be completely content.

We were supposed to have a cleaning night early in the week that no one showed up for, save one. Two if you count myself but I was still there cleaning carpets and moving stuff. Three, if you count Ben who’s always there. When our one volunteer arrived, the three of us moved couches and other items from one side of the foyer to the other so it could be vacuumed and the carpets cleaned. You can take a wild guess who got the job of vacuuming and cleaning the carpets. Not that I minded. I think Rancid said it best in their song, “Radio” when they said, “When I got the music, I got a place to go”. I was able to get the downstairs completely finished and I would have finished the upstairs too if Ben hadn’t told me to go home. I think it was about 8:30 PM. I’d been there since 10. No worries. I knocked out the last room the following day. I’m not complaining, not looking for pity.

It’s not like I had anything else to do that day.

In the Proverbs it’s repeated a couple of times that humility comes before honor (Proverbs 15:33, 18:12). Although I avoid sounding cliché I do have to say that there is a lot of wisdom to that. I try not to view myself as anything special in the sense that there is nothing I can do well aside from when the Holy Spirit is working in me or when I submit to his call or his instruction. I truly want to be of great service somehow and I’m really starting to see the height of the mountain I’ve approached. Part of me is really excited at the opportunity but then there’s that nagging doubt.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

What if after what if…

There have been times when I feel like the enemy has been at the gates of my heart just rattling them. I am an anxious person by my very nature and it has been a small fight already trying to maintain focus in all of this already. On top of my internship I’ve been invited and have accepted the honor of speaking at York E-Free in June and have been offered to share at another church though no date has been discussed or anything. While I feel my ability for communication has vastly improved over the last few months I am still feeling a bit unsettled about it because of my less than favorable experience in my homiletics class where I learned more how I can’t preach like most.

It’s all about the experience though, right?

Right.

So, since this is sort of a record of the training I’m receiving I thought it would be good to give a short rundown of some things. A brief summary of influence and such in the last week.

Music:
Goo Goo Dolls – “Dizzy Up the Girl”
B. Dolan – “Fallen House, Sunken City”
Third Eye Blind – S/T
War of Ages – “Eternal
Bible:
1 & 2 Corinthians
Joshua
Verse:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
Podcast:
The Table – Kearney: Weapons of Mass Distraction – The Idol of Control
The Table – Kearney: Weapons of Mass Distraction – Sex
The Table – Kearney: Is Jesus Messing With You?
Key words:
Humility
Love
Service

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