Huntington, Ind.—Kyle Brenneman, a senior from Spencerville, Ohio, is completing his PRIME experience in Appleton, Wis.
As a worship arts intern, Brenneman is responsible for a variety of tasks on a day-to-day basis at Appleton Alliance Church -- anything from planning services, leading rehearsals, setting up the stage, playing instruments, as well as a wide variety of technical work.
“When I got here, my mentor told me that my job was to ‘take responsibility for your learning.’ Basically, if I want to learn something, it’s my job to find the person or people who can teach it to me and learn from them,” said Brenneman, a worship leadership major.
The experience has been a bit different from what Brenneman has been used to because of the size of the church. Appleton Alliance has an average of 2,200-2,500 people in the congregation each Sunday, while Brenneman is used to a church of 500 people.
“It’s also interesting for me to see the different dynamic of being in a large church. I’m not used to going to a church this size. There are quite a few things that have to be thought about differently in larger churches, so that’s interesting to observe,” Brenneman said.
PRIME, Practical Research and Immersion through Ministry Effectiveness, is a part of Huntington University’s Ministries and Missions Department. Through the program, students devote seven months to hands-on ministry away from the classroom setting. Students are responsible for finding a place to serve, sometimes choosing to serve all over the U.S., even in different countries.
Brenneman initially had a difficult time finding a place to serve. Contacting approximately two dozen different churches from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, nothing was working out for him. Then, one of the churches Brenneman already had contacted touched base with him to see how the search was coming. This was December, and he still didn’t have a church. The next thing he knew, Brenneman was on his way to Wisconsin.
“Originally, I wasn't overly excited about the thought of doing my PRIME in Wisconsin. I thought I wanted to do it somewhere more adventurous, like California or Seattle. But I couldn't have picked a better spot to do this internship if I could have custom-ordered the church. I'm learning a lot, and it’s a great place. A word of advice for other ministry students: Start looking for a PRIME spot early... very early.”
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