My Grace Internship: Joey Christianson
BY JOEY CHRISTIANSON, DIRECTOR OF STUDENT MINISTRIES, GRACE CHURCH - FISHERS
My name is Joey Christianson, and I am the Director of Student Ministries at Grace Church- Fishers. In March of 2011, I decided to take a big step of faith and step down from my role with Student Impact in Westfield to pursue an internship with Grace! It seemed crazy, but I was confident God wasn’t calling me to stay, so I went! I had to raise around $10,000 to participate, and God provided! In fact, I ended up raising more than I needed.
The internship started in August, and we started with an offsite retreat. I remember there were 4 other interns, and one in my ministry area, which was Access. I thought from the beginning that this was going to be an awesome experience, and I had no idea what I was in for. The people from my internship - David, Bryan, Liz, and Mark - were awesome! We enjoyed getting to know one another and talking about ministry, life, future, and hopes together. My time was cut short because in December I accepted a role at Grace as the Production Director for Student Ministries and Grace Kids. This was exciting for me as it brought clarity to what God had next for me. I was also fortunate enough to be able to continue going to class and still be with the interns.
I also got to go to New York City Relief with them. New York City Relief broke my heart. NYCR is a mobile soup kitchen that goes to places like Harlem and the Bronx and serves soup and bread to people who need it. They also try to connect people with resources to help them get out of a bad situation and into a better one. NYCR helped me to see that people on the streets are just like us, except they may not have a family to help them through their hard times. This experience was technically after I was done with my internship, but I consider it to be one of the most impactful parts of my intern experience at Grace. It’s a trip that still is near and dear to my heart, and I will be returning this summer leading a team there.
Although my internship was cut short by taking a job at Grace, I feel like it helped me decide what to do next, where to go, and ultimately has led me to where I am today, which is back in Student Ministries with middle and high school students. The internship helped me realize two things:
1. I like working for the Church.
2. I love working for Grace Church!