SHADES BLOG

UMin's Summer Snapshot

Posted by Kevin Naylor

Editor's Note: This summer we will hear from various UMIN students about how they are using their summer for the Kingdom and how God is at work in their lives. Next up we’ll hear from Jake Adler who is an upcoming senior at Samford University.

Hello people of Birmingham! It's good to be writing to you from Life Community Church in Nolensville, Tennessee. For the past two months, I've been interning here with Jay Watson and Kevin Johnson. Jay and Kevin used to be pastors at Shades that have devoted themselves to serving the people of Nolensville. It’s been a fun ride the entire summer.        

We started off with a bang at our student camp in the woods of Tennessee. During this week the students were able learn about Jesus and how he loves them. For many of them, this is a new concept, and they were hearing it for the first time. I was given the opportunity to lead worship for the students which proved to be a difficult task, because for some of them it was their first time to sing worship songs. The students learned quickly and loved getting involved. We also played tons of games like flag football, glow in the dark kickball (which was chaotic), and water balloon fights. It was a fun start to the internship, and it gave me a good picture of how engaging the summer was going to be.

One of the families from the church volunteered to house me for the summer. They are some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met. Their three young children are full of energy and the youngest boy, Declan, is my number one fan.  They have served me so well this entire summer, and I've come to see them as my Tennessee family. 

Kevin has been an excellent boss for the past two months.  Jay, the lead pastor of Life Community, has been on sabbatical for the summer.  Thus, Kevin, the associate pastor, has stepped up to lead us interns. 

He put us in charge of leading the Wednesday night events for the student ministry. So we come up with games to play, what Bible lesson to teach, and what crazy snack food the students will be eating. My favorite Wednesday night so far has to be the glow-in-the-dark mini-golf night. We rented several portable glow in the dark mini golf stations and set them up in the worship center, then turned up the LED lights and made the room look like a laser tag arena. It was crazy. CRAZY!

I have also had the opportunity to lead worship on Sundays.  Ethan Asters, a Samford graduate and the worship leader at Life Community, made it his goal to mentor me this entire summer and give me many opportunities to lead worship.  He has allowed me to assist him in planning the worship sets, modeling each Sunday to the needs of the congregation and to theme of the sermon that morning. This has given me a glimpse into what it would be like to be a worship pastor full-time at a church. I'm really thankful for Ethan's leadership over me this summer.

Kevin also put me in charge of leading a small Bible study with three of male students. This has been the most rewarding of all my tasks this summer. These three middle school guys have been so eager to read the Word and fellowship with God. I’ve been able to teach them the importance of reading their Bibles, the power of prayer, and the beauty of Jesus’ grace in their lives. I'm hoping that these concepts will carry on in these guys' lives for years. They have the passion to do so. I'll keep praying for them as they enter high school and begin that new stage in life.

So anyway, those are some of the awesome things I've been able to do in this internship. It has given me a good glimpse into what full-time ministry would be like. It has also strengthened my desire to be in full-time ministry. The people of Life Community are growing in faith thanks to the hard work of many faithful leaders and thanks to the faithfulness of our God.  

It's been an amazing summer.