By Sarah Parris ’21 // Marketing & Communication // 4.26.19
“We would be lost without interns,” said Jon Davis, teaching pastor at Summit Church. “They are more than viable; they are crucial. Not only do they bring relevant and fresh ideas but also they have a passion and desire that uplifts the whole congregation.”
Countless Charleston Southern University students are interning in local churches and impacting not only the younger generation but the churches as a whole. While every church requires different things from the student leaders, all report how vital and impactful they are on the congregation.
Summit Church and Journey Church are Baptist churches near CSU where many students attend and intern. The interns are not only pouring into the church and work they are a part of, they are also being equipped and invested in by leaders in the church.
“Interning at Journey Church gave me the space to grow,” said Meghan Frezza, a former intern and 2018 music and worship leadership graduate. “I was surrounded with people who believed in the younger generation coming up. They were ready and excited to guide me, encourage me and push me to realize my full capability.”
Some interns focus on worship and help lead the church in that way. “I either sing, play keys, or do both a few times a month,” said Logan Flemming, a current worship intern at Journey Church. “It’s a family I never knew I’d have. The congregation gets to see a physical manifestation of trust in the intern-leader relationship, instilling more of their own trust in their leaders and maybe a longing to be more involved as well,” said Flemming.
The internships that CSU students participate in allow them the chance to use and grow in their gifts while impacting people along the way.
“CSU continues to bring some of the brightest, most talented students out there,” said Cory Singleton, worship and creative pastor at Journey Church. “Also, being a Southern Baptist school and Journey being an SBC church, it helps when it comes to being on similar pages theologically.”
The interns grow tremendously in their gifts, but they also report maturing spiritually throughout the internship process. Being in a leadership position and working in ministry pushes the interns to dig deeper in their faith and seek after the Lord continuously.
“The internship at Summit has impacted me a lot in the sense of growth, said Keira Fenzel, a college intern at Summit. “When I first became an intern and attended intern training, I felt so underqualified. I have never been more anxious in my life, but the first time I taught was the first time I had ever taken a position like that, and it was the first time I felt the Holy Spirit flow through me in such a supernatural way. I have grown so much in confidence and have learned so much about the Lord.”
CSU interns pair with churches and chase after a shared vision for the church. Connor Burgess, a college intern at Summit, said, “Our motto as interns is raising up shepherds through the message of reconciliation, which creates a group of believers who are learning and growing together to hopefully further the kingdom and better the church for the future.”
“The college students at Charleston Southern University have had a tremendous impact on Summit Church,” said Zach Sibrava, college ministry leader at Summit. “They bring new energy and ideas throughout the entire church.”
Interns do a variety of tasks ranging from leading worship and planning rehearsals to attending meetings and receiving one-on-one mentoring. The CSU interns CSU get the opportunity to be a part of the biblical model for serving and discipleship in the church. The internships collectively build up leaders and passion in Baptist churches in the Charleston community as described by a Journey Church motto, “develop and deploy.”
Top Row L-R: Lucas White, Hayden Jacobs, Eric Addison, Heath McGill, Seth Friend
Bottom Row: Keira Fenzel, Morgan Pheffer, Connor Burgess