At Brentwood, we develop others to impact generations because we believe wisdom, skill, and opportunity must be given away. Twice a year we hire interns to come along side us in order give them hands on experience and to develop them with the skills and knowledge necessary for ministry. We asked one of our summer interns, Emily Young, to describe her experience this past summer:
I first visited Brentwood in August 2015 and instantly knew that this is where God wanted me, but I had no idea what was to come. This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with Ariel Guptill, the Creative Arts Director. I mainly focused on creating graphics, monitoring the social media accounts, and creating the Facebook Live video and Instagram Story every Sunday morning.
I am so thankful that God clearly showed me that Brentwood was where He wanted me for the summer because it was one of the biggest seasons of growth in my life.
From day one, the staff treated the other interns and me as staff members. We all felt incredibly valued and appreciated. Some of my favorite parts of the summer internship were the Monday morning staff meetings, intern meetings, and one-on-one meetings with Ariel. The main takeaway from all these meetings and my entire summer was development.
In the Monday morning meetings, we discussed ways that God was moving in the church and in our lives. It was a time to come together and praise God for how He was moving. It opened my eyes to prayer requests and praises that I would not have gotten to see if I wasn’t an intern. I also loved these meetings because we discussed what went well on Sunday and what we could improve. It was amazing to see such healthy feedback and the staff truly wanting to do everything with excellence.
We had two different intern meetings, and every week I looked forward to them both. For the first one, the interns would gather together and talk about what we were learning and how we could pray for each other. I think establishing this community within our group was valuable because we were able to see how each of us was being stretched and developed in their specific area. Our second meeting was an hour long “teaching” with Brett Clubb. These meetings taught me about ministry skill sets that I did not even realize I desperately needed to grasp. All the teachings helped develop me into a better staff member, co-worker, and person as a whole. They taught me how to lead well, and also how to be led well.
My one-on-one meetings with Ariel were always great. Sometimes we would discuss projects I needed help on, and other times we would discuss my personal life and prayer requests. Either way, she always encouraged me, showed me ways I could improve, and taught me things I didn’t even realize I needed to know. We bounced ideas off each other, encouraged each other, and gave constructive criticism on ideas, designs, and more. This summer I valued Ariel not only as a boss but as a friend. She and I grew closer because of the time she took to invest in and develop me.
This summer I learned how to take my graphic design experience and implement the creative skills and programs into a church setting and staff meetings. If I had an idea, my voice would be heard. If they liked my idea, they would allow me to execute it. Not many places allow interns that privilege, and I am so honored that they valued my work ethic and trusted me with many responsibilities. As the summer went on, I was given more responsibility because they valued me and knew I could handle it. I love that this internship did not consist of making coffee runs or being shoved in a dark cubicle. It was so hands on and experience-driven.
I love that this internship did not consist of making coffee runs or being shoved in a dark cubicle. It was so hands on and experience-driven.
It’s going to take time to process how I grew this summer. I know that God definitely confirmed my calling and desire to use my creative skills for the church, and part of the reason for that is the healthy culture that Brentwood has. Each person on staff truly went out of their way to ensure that I was equipped and resourced to do my job well. Toward the end of the summer, I felt like I was a part of a family, and honestly, I didn’t want to leave. Luckily, I didn’t have to. Brentwood graciously opened up an opportunity for me to interview for a Graphic Design Director position. God made is so clear to me and the staff that this position was where He wanted me, and I’m super excited for this next season.