Each year we participate in an internship programme called Impact. Run by the New Ground network of churches that we are part of, this ten-month programme offers a young person work experience in the church office, ministry experience in the church, and outstanding theological training.
Our ‘Impacter’ this year has been Jess Gill. Half way through the programme, we caught up with her to find out how it’s been going.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m nineteen, and I currently live with Dan and Anna Harris, and my favourite thing to do is to sing around the house. A lot.
What made you decide to do Impact?
The most attractive thing for me about Impact was the chance to get my foundations in theology solid, through the theology training. I also wanted to know how a church works; I know that I often make judgements on what leaders say and do, when actually I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, and that’s not fair. I wanted a better understanding of what the leaders of a church go through, and how much pressure they’re actually under, and the fact that they’re still human.
Also, I wanted to meet loads of cool people. Which I did!
How has the year been so far?
Very intense. Very, very intense.
On Impact you are challenged in every area of your life. You’re challenged in your spiritual life, because you say to God at the beginning of the year, “This year is for you and I want you to do stuff,” and He does. You’re physically stretched a lot, and then there’s the intellectual aspect because you have to write assignments for the theology training blocks.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, and a lot about the balance of learning theology and having a relationship with God. I’ve learned about relationships, and about church as family; no one is unapproachable. On every level it’s a massive family.
What are you planning to do next?
I was going to go on missions, but I’ve realised that the reason I wanted to do that was because I was wanting to chase after God – not to follow wherever He went, but to find Him. But actually this year has taught me that He’s not that far away; He’s actually right next to me all the time. I don’t need to go a Third World country to see Him, I can see Him in the lives of people in the church all the time.
So when I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I asked God, “What were you thinking when you created me?” As I prayed about it I felt Him say, “I created you with a paintbrush in your hand, and I want you to go and develop that skill and use it for me.” So now I’m applying to study art at university next year.
Why should someone do Impact?
Someone should do Impact if they want to know how a church runs, if they want to learn more about themselves and, most importantly, if they want to learn more about who God is, and who He is to them.
Five Fast Facts:
Favourite band/artist: Sam Smith, or Jeremy Camp
Favourite vegetable: Asparagus
Country you’d most like to visit one day: India
Country you’d least like to visit one day: Australia
Last film you saw at the cinema: Night at the Museum 3
Make an Impact:
Applications are now open for the Impact programme 2015/16. If you’re interested in giving a year of your life to King’s Church Kingston, please contact the office or read more on the New Ground Impact webpage.