Recently, we posted this piece on the Christ Community Church Blog. It's a spotlight piece on my (read: Ian White's) internship. I'm incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve in this capacity, and I hope I can benefit our Church in a way that is reflective of how much this internship has benefitted me. Anyway, this piece should highlight why we believe internships in a worship band (or most any) context are helpful. Hope you get something valuable out of it!
One of the great aspects of Christ Community’s structure is our ability to be a church that sends people into other places to continue to their walks with Christ by loving God and loving others well. Being a part of the Acts 29 Networkallows us to have many opportunities to send people into similar churches within the network we are a part of. One way our church prepares members to be sent elsewhere is through internships. The purpose of internships within Christ Community is to build up interns in leadership and in development to help them in the next step in where they want to be. The Band Director Internship, held by Ian White, is one such internship.
How It All Began
In a community group, Ian connected with a member who had previously been involved with the internships that Christ Community offered, and he saw the impact that it had on their lives and wanted to experience the same. Being very confident in his path and wanting to work in Music Ministry as a vocation, he wanted to understand all that goes into worship—the individual role and all of the planning necessary to be successful. He wanted to be able to “hit the ground running” at whatever job he transitioned into, and the internship was created to give him the experience and skills he needed to accomplish that.
Some Daily Tasks
The main task within the internship is to make sure all aspects of worship work on Sunday. This involves a lot of back work that is done long before Sunday morning rolls around. Ian first has to schedule band members and facilitate practices each week. He also picks the songs and orders the set so that the music creates a consistent flow with the hope that people will engage with the music in a way that allows them to follow Jesus throughout the worship service. On Sunday mornings, his biggest responsibility is to make sure that set up is done correctly and that all of the sound and projectors are working as they should.
Ian also manages the online presence of Christ Community’s music by creating the Spotify and blog set list each week. We have many auxiliary events, some related to music and others that aren’t, that he helps piece together. These events can range from recording sermons to the new website to helping with any of the sound equipment. As Ian completes each of these tasks, he does so with full ownership and responsibility so that he can really get a sense of what it takes to make things work well. All the work is done with Aaron Slaten as his mentor and supervisor who has the final say, but Ian is able to tackle these challenges head on with room to grow and learn in the successful days as well as the more difficult days.
Ian’s most satisfying moments in the internship are when he has taken ownership of all of the detailed planning and the process leading up to Sunday when he is able to lead music during the service. This is a time when he can actually play the music and find strengths in that talent while also finding ways to better everything for the next time. It’s also very rewarding when he finishes playing on Sundays and the people in the band tell him they had a great experience making music alongside him. Hearing that compliment means all of the back work and execution was well done and the church had a good time engaging with the music—which is the purpose and heart behind all of the work he commits to each week.
Preparation for Future Roles
The hardest part of the internship for Ian revolves around the details that go into planning. The most enjoyable elements of worship for him are the big vision and artistic elements such as song arrangements. The internship is equipping him to learn how to manage the details along with the artistic elements of organizing worship. Before the internship, he did not understand the full scope of what all of the elements behind leading a band and leading worship really looked like. Now he not only is aware of all the work and organization needed, but he is capable of successfully managing these tasks to create the desired end result of meaningful worship that leads people closer to Christ.
The goal behind the internship is to give Ian work experience so that he can walk into an Acts 29 Church, which has a unique and challenging structure, and thrive in the new environment. Each week allows him to learn more and grow more into someone who can spread the influence of Christ Community to anywhere he may be called.