A word in praise of the College Church internship program . . .
For decades now, College Church has invested time, energy, and risk in young people investigating a church vocation, or already preparing for ministry in the local church. Interns have taught, led worship, preached, headed small groups, run retreats, washed tables, worked missions conferences and preaching workshops. The list goes on, and no one person could sit down alone and list everything interns have done at College Church.
Back in the day, interns were paid an embarrassing token for a significant amount of work. Still, without pay, the program continues strong and the interns serve for all they are worth. Some interns have become our pastors. Many more have become pastors and leaders elsewhere. Not a few have established internship programs in their own ministry settings. The gift keeps giving in churches across the country.
I’ve been specially mindful of interns lately, as this school year draws to a close and we will say thank you and goodbye to two excellent music interns. And at the same time, I note the many successes of former music interns. One is founding conductor of a new orchestra in suburban New York. Another teaches grade school music and conducts a church choir and writes a very fine blog on church music. Yet another is completing graduate work in theology and music. Story after story of God’s good work in these young men and women whom we had the privilege of working with in years past.
Which brings me to our current music interns, Levi Henkel and Andy Bruhn. More on Andy another time. Levi graduates from Wheaton College on May 6. He has sung his last service here, played organ on his last subbing date, and this past Sunday we were led through a very thoughtful, gospel-rich morning service that was planned, prepared, and led by Levi. This was his “capstone” internship project. He read the sermon passage, conceived the opening acts of praise as a precis of the gospel, selected an interesting and challenging anthem for that gospel story. He did all the work on preparing the choir, and was in every respect their leader on Sunday morning. We had heard Levi several times this year, at the organ. This past Sunday he pulled together a year of our work, four years of study, and his love for Jesus and His church. We send him off with thanks and in confidence that the Lord of the Church will use him to God’s glory.