First Lutheran Church, ELCA Intern
I spent December 2006 through May 2007 interning at First Lutheran Church in Moline, IL. This internship has truly been a blessing for me. It has given me the opportunity to develop skills in areas of ministry that I have in the past been uncomfortable with.
For example, First Lutheran gave me my first real exposure to preaching. Though I had preached one sermon before beginning my internship, First Lutheran gave me the chance to develop these skills for my future ministry. Although it was difficult at times due to new preaching styles, my lack of Biblical knowledge, and my inexperience in preaching, I learned a great deal. Each sermon was a new and unique experience for me.
Sermon writing was one of my biggest fears of being a pastor. Since I hadn't had a chance to preach until just before I began my internship, I didn't know for sure that I was capable of it, and I was worried about the possibility of having to preach on a weekly basis as a pastor. This internship made me much more comfortable with preaching and although I still have a long way to go, I am confident that with more education and experience, I will develop the skills to preach.
The part of pastoral ministry that I found most difficult was communion calls. I am not much of a conversationalist and I am an introvert, so I worried about not having anything to talk about with the people I visited. I worried that as a college student and not having much life experience it would be hard to relate to people with more varied life-experiences. When I actually did make the communion calls, however, I found that it was easier and more fulfilling than I had thought.
I definitely still feel called to pastoral ministry within a congregation. This was something I was sure of before I began my internship, and although there have been times of doubt before and during my internship, I do feel a call from God. This is a call that I cannot ignore and I could not imagine doing anything else. God has led me to a path that is right for me. While I may never be the perfect pastor, I realize that God has given me the gifts that I need for this journey. I will continue to discover these gifts, and make use of them to the best of my ability.