This is such a cool photo of Jared, one of our college students whose pastoral internship is wrapping up. Jared’s internship began this past fall and is finishing up this week.
Jared has been reading and writing, he has joined our elders meetings, and he has met with me weekly over twelve weeks. Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work. Pray that Jared would be that kind of shepherd for a church in the years ahead. You can read about the shape of the internship here.
Before we get to know you a bit, tell us what excited you the most about serving as an intern this fall?
As an intern, I get to witness a lot of the ins and outs of church life at Heritage. Honestly, my biggest excitement about this internship was the connection and mentorship that I would receive from the elders. Trent and I meet most weeks to discuss a book that centers on church life. My hope has been to grow in my understanding of church life, specifically at Heritage Bible Church, and then to take what I have learned and apply it to the way that I pastor in the future.
Now, let’s go to the beginning, your new beginning. How did the Lord save you?
My testimony is not unlike many people’s. I have grown up in a Christian family, both parents are believers. The Lord saved me when I was seven years old. At Northland Bible Camp, Evangelist Jeremy Frazor gave a very clear gospel message. I remember understanding my state in my sin and my need for someone to redeem me. Even at age seven, I had a clear understanding of what Christ did to save me from my sins, in dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Over the years, there have been moments in which I’ve doubted my salvation, many times due to ongoing sin in my life. But, ultimately, at the end of the day, I understand that my salvation and my assurance are not rooted in myself or in the countless times I have failed but in the reality that God has saved me and calls me his child.
You’re a college student. You’re a member. You’ve made home at Heritage. Encourage our church with the story of how you came here and got involved. We want to be a church that welcomes college students and gives them a taste of heaven on earth, just what church should be.
I became aware of Heritage Bible Church prior to attending college at Bob Jones University. I met Danny Brooks, the former teaching pastor of Heritage, out in Utah while my teen group was on a ministry trip. Danny had just moved out there. When I came to college, I knew that Danny pastored a church in Greenville. So, I visited. And immediately, I was hooked by the preaching, the fulness of the music in worship, and the charitability of people around me. My sophomore year, I joined Heritage as a member, because I knew the importance of being a part of a local church. Over the years, I have developed relationships with several people in the congregation. Pastor Trent and Dan Cruver have been an enormous help in shepherding my heart and giving me opportunities to use my gifts over the last couple of years.
Now, what is the most influential book on your life and what has been the most influential sermon on your life? Tell us a little about both.
The most influential book and most influential sermon on my life both go hand in hand as they are both by the same person—John Piper—and have the same title—“Don’t Waste Your Life.” In both, Piper talks about the way in which every Christian should live—sold out for Christ, his glory, and the proclamation of his gospel.
You’re in the middle of reading twelve books over this internship. What’s been the most insightful book so far and why?
To me, the most insightful book during my internship has been Worship Matters, by Bob Kauflin. He expounds how a worship leader and those participating in worship should think about it. Worship is standing in awe of, giving adoration to, and submitting to God. Therefore, as Kauflin writes, those leading and participating in worship should be known as “awe-filled” people.” The gathered worship should be conducted in such a way that fills the congregation with awe.
You’ve been in our elders meetings for a few months now. What have you observed and learned so far?
As I’ve sat in the elders meetings, I’ve witnessed the great care that goes into shepherding God’s sheep. Every meeting, the elders open their time with thirty minutes in prayer over the church and specific members, sometimes as a whole group and sometimes in small groups. No elder rules over another. Each has a voice and a part in the conversation. There is a very present respect and love that is felt as the gospel is evident within the room. The meetings get me excited about the joys, sorrows, and fulfillment of pastoring my own church in the future.
What are your desires vocationally for the future and how can we pray for you?
As I transition away from college, my hope for the next two years is to move out to Salt Lake City, Utah to partner with Gospel Grace Church in a full-time residency. Simultaneously, I hope to finish my Master of Divinity with Bob Jones remotely. At the end of the residency, I could move into elder candidacy or into church planting in Utah. Of course, with such a transition (I’m from Michigan), there’s a lot of wisdom needed in how I am going to move out there. Could you pray for me in that respect?
Finally, got any favorite teams or hobbies or special skills we should know about?
I love to read (especially when it’s what I want). Every now and then, I’ll sit down and write a piece for my blog. Over the last couple of months, because of my friend, Will Galkin, I’ve developed a real love for Liverpool Football Club. Right now, they are the second team in Premier League and are on the way to face off against Chelsea in Wembley Stadium for Carabao Cup Championship.