JEFFERSON CITY – This summer, 86 college students are serving as interns through the Summer Missions program, funded by the MBC. For ten weeks, collegiate interns are paired with a mentor through a local church or ministry to assist with a variety of work while receiving an inside look at their mentor’s life and ministry. The program is a beautiful expression of partnership between local churches, college students, and ministries.
Seventeen of the interns are working with MBCollegiate campus missionaries. The seven campus missionaries mentoring them see this as a vital opportunity to offer hands-on training, discipleship, and leadership development.
“It’s Matthew 10… Jesus sent out the disciples, challenging them, encouraging them, allowing them to fail while He loved them,” says Doug Logdson. He and Chris Wilson, both campus missionaries with Adolos BSU in the Springfield area are sharing five interns. Their interns are reconnecting with alumni, serving at a local Baptist food pantry, connecting with local churches, and preparing for the fall semester of campus ministry, all while living life-on-life discipleship with Wilson and Logsdon.
For Christina Boatright of North Central Missouri College, having summer interns is personally exciting because of how the program shaped her own spiritual walk. “I was a summer missionary all through college myself,” she says. “It stretched me and grew me in ways I never saw coming. It trained me to be able to share the gospel with many different types of people and helped build spiritual confidence. I grew deeper in God’s Word. That’s what I hope to achieve with my students as they serve with me.”
Boatright meets weekly with her two interns, Trinity and Dorie, to study Colossians, plan upcoming events, and discuss how to share the gospel in different contexts. Over the course of the ten weeks, Trinity and Dorie are serving at VBS, spending two weeks in Mexico doing building projects, distributing homeless care bags in Kansas City, and working with a local church ministry. Meanwhile, Boatright is assigning a different group of people for them to share the gospel with each week. The first week it was essential workers. “They wrote cards of thanks with the gospel in them. They gave them out at different places in hopes of sharing the gospel with them,” says Boatright.
Scott Westfall at Missouri Valley College is stoked to have two Summer Missions interns, Nolan and Clayton. He has three goals for their internship: to grow as disciples, serve in ministry, and be on mission. In addition to two mission trips and a weekend camp, they are helping with the Marshall Missions Project and making a missional plan for reaching their campus.
Westfall kickstarted their internship with a leadership development retreat in early May. During the summer, “we meet twice a week and have an Old Testament and New Testament reading, along with an intentional praying time. We are previewing the Tangible Kingdom Primer which they plan to help lead for small groups in the fall. For evangelism training, we did the Gospel Primer training, and we are giving them other tools for sharing the gospel.” Nolan and Clayton are also leading devotions and working with Westfall and other local pastors to develop preaching skills.
Christian and Courtney, the two interns working with Jason Yarnell from Northwest Missouri State, are getting a taste of life as Lighthouse BSU staff. Yarnell helped them establish four goals for the summer: do outreach to students in town and assist local churches, improve relationships with alumni and supporting churches, do projects to improve the Lighthouse building, and pursue individual spiritual growth. They join his staff for weekly meetings to discuss what God is teaching them through the Word and hold one another accountable on their assignments. Each week, they tackle one big ministry need in their meetings together, such as developing a fall outreach plan. Yarnell believes the internship is valuable because “they get a behind-the-scenes look at how we run our ministry and the everyday grind aspect of it. They also benefit from the accountability and intentionality it gives their summer. I’m hopefully that the projects they do will allow them to see God at work.”
Brad Russell, campus missionary at Saint Louis University (SLU), is working in tandem with the youth pastor from his church, Ridge Church, to mentor two interns. Together they are walking through the H.E.A.R. Bible studies, The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman, and The Discipleship Gospel by Bill Hull and Ben Sobels. “They are being trained in connecting with students relationally, using their gifts in service, gospel conversations, and making disciples,” Russell says. His mentee, Josiah, is using his gifts as a videographer and photographer to serve the church and ministry at SLU while Clay, the youth pastor’s mentee, helps lead worship and preaches a sermon. They’ll also be making phone calls to youth pastors to connect graduating seniors to MBCollegiate ministries.
Reese Hammond from Southeast Missouri State University has something unique planned for his four interns’ discipleship this summer. In addition to their study of Romans and Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, he and his wife, Lisa, are having them over every Sunday to watch and discuss various types of Christian worldview media. His interns are helping with fall ministry preparations and publicity for the Lighthouse BSU while doing evangelism around town and in-home discipleship with him and Lisa.
These sixteen students are set for a summer of growth as they are stretched and challenged to use their gifts, lead out, serve, study, learn, share the gospel in new ways, and experience life and ministry with their mentor. As Hammond says, “our summer missions program is valuable because it is comprehensive for every aspect of life: theology, home life, recreational life, personal evangelism, and spiritual disciplines, and church life.” ν