My Experience at Bethlehem Assembly of God, New York
Reflection on Ministry
Bethlehem Assembly of God is located at 12 East Fairview Ave, Valley Stream, New York. However, the church’s administrative offices at 188 Rockaway Avenue, New York. I was privileged to spend more than four weeks in May predominantly with the church’s children ministry. I had wished to be placed as a worker with the children’s ministry and I thank God that I got an opportunity to work with the children’s ministry at this church. I was as well endowed with an opportunity to work at Calvary Camp Ground with attendance of more than 37 nations. At this camp, my work involved cooking, cleaning and taking care of the tabernacle. Through these engagements, I can attest that I generally gained immense skills and knowledge from this internship.
At the children’s ministry, I was involved in a diversity of activities which include supervising children particularly those of grade k-6 in regard to their arrangement and involvement in their various activities, teaching them Bible lessons, supervising ministry placement for new internees and other junior staff, engaging children in various co-curricular activities among others. The Bible lessons for the junior church entailed reading from the Bible and discussing what it implies and how it can be applied in real life. Occasionally, I could also take time to identify relevant sermons and articles that connected to the Bible passages which we had learned with the children. According to Children’s Ministry Magazine (2012), there is a tendency for majority of children to feel that the Bible is not relevant to them. Further, majority of these children do not have the motivation to read the Bible on their own. Therefore, it is important for the one involved in teaching them to come up and utilize strategies that can make children be interested in Bible lessons and even in reading them on their own.
The use of articles and sermons and linking them to specific Bible verses turned out to be quite effective since from analysis and assessments, most of the learners were able to understand the Bible passages and be able to relate them with everyday life and current affairs. Some of the sermons and articles we were using for the Bible lessons had been written by the church members. Among the topics we discussed include Angels, common Biblical figures, common Biblical themes, Politics, Christianity, and Global warming. Other than Bible reading, Children were also involved in various other activities including drawing, reading a variety of children books with Christian themes, engaging in various play activities and interacting with one another. Perry (2016) reiterates that children should not just be engaged with one form of activity since they will become bored. The author continues to post that, when children are having fun, this will help them in remembering these important Bible lessons which they had been taught. Therefore, the various activities including play are also part of Christian foundation and ministry since they help in refreshing the mind while enabling children to grasp more what they are taught.
As a supervisor for ministry placements at Metro Kids, my job consisted assisting those who had been placed at specific ministries to serve effectively and faithful. I was overseeing the work they were doing, rectifying where they went wrong, and guiding them accordingly. The greatest challenges of my placement were particularly on this part. At first, the work was so entailing considering that I was not conversant with some of the activities and procedures in specific ministries. Moreover, I was not one of the staff of this church and hence, I did not have the required confidence to work as a senior officer at the placement. However, I became used to them with time and I was now comfortable handling the task. In fact, it came to the point where I felt that I was equal to the task of leading owing to the familiarity of the process. Nonetheless, I had to respect the boundaries of the specific call to ministry and of the specific ministry placement (The Uniting Church in Australia, 2011).
In the children’s ministry, these engagements gave me an opportunity to learn important skills and experience such as how best to engage children in ministry, how to design interesting and lively lessons and discussions, and the various activities that can be utilized in a children ministry.
As I pointed out earlier, I was also accorded an internship opportunity at Calvary Camp ground where I worked as a cleaner, cooking, and taking care of the tabernacle. The experience at this site enabled me to acquire a diverse range of skills including cleaning, cooking and how to take care of the tabernacle. Though I found most of the activities as being odd, particularly cleaning and arranging the tabernacle, I gained immense skills and knowledge on cooking various dishes as well as handling dishes. This triggered an interest in me to learn more about cooking a part from cooking better meals than before.
In summary, the internship was so engaging and I was never bored at any time. I had always wished that wherever I am placed to work, the environment should be relatively busy to avoid boredom and hangover. I thank God that I got exactly that at my internship site. More important is the fact that I was given an opportunity to put the theoretical knowledge I had gained in practical ministry practice. I think this engagement gave me enough experience and skills on handling real life job context in ministry work environment.
Nonetheless, I do have some recommendations for Bethlehem Assemblies of God Church. First, I think the job of supervision should be accorded to an internal staff who better understands the internal rules and have sufficient experience on how the ministry works. In other words, this task should not be assigned to a new staff since it may be beyond his/her capabilities. Truly, the work of supervising ministry placement was at first beyond my capabilities considering that I had not had sufficient experiences and skills regarding the role and the operations of various ministries under my jurisdictions. What is more, an internee may not be able to put the theoretical skills and knowledge into practice if he or she is given a supervisory role. This was also the same case at the Calvary camp ground where I was assigned odd jobs rather than the one I was learning. In this sense, I felt that I did not put the knowledge I had acquired into practice, though I gained new skills.
According to Singapore University (2016) the goal of internship is aimed at giving a student a hand on-learning experience for the particular job in which he or she studies. Therefore, it could be important for the administration of BAG to engage experienced and skilled staff in supervisory roles. This is for the smooth running of the job as well as giving room for internees to learn through practical approach.