With such hectic schedules nowadays, finding quality volunteers is no easy feat, but Jessica Bonner accepts nothing less for the children in her ministry. Since she first arrived at Fairview Missionary Church in Angola, Ind., Bonner actively involves herself in many activities sponsored by the church to meet new people and build relationships.
“I spend time praying and asking God to send the right people to serve,” she said. “I am blessed with many good volunteers, but I am always looking for more.”
Bonner, a 2009 family and children’s ministry graduate from Bluffton, Ohio, works as the director of children’s ministry. She coordinates the spiritual development of children between the ages of 1-11. She also plans the programs for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening lessons as well as special events throughout the year for the children.
Bonner credits the HU ministry program and professors for preparing her for her position. The classes offered through the ministry program gave her confidence in her communication skills and leadership potential.
Outside the classroom, Bonner spent one of her J-terms at a church camp, learning how to run a camp and preparing to minister to the students who would attend. She also left for Hillard, Ohio, her senior year to go on PRIME (Practical Research and Immersion through Ministry Effectiveness) and found opportunities to minister to children and youth. Her PRIME experience taught her how ministry revolves around relying on God and trusting in Him.
“My PRIME experience was probably what got me most ready for my job,” Bonner said about the program which serves as a seven month internship in a ministry field setting for any student majoring in ministry or missions during May or early June after his or her junior year. “The classroom is great to start in, but it can only teach you so much. I believe that life experience is what really helps you grow.”
While at HU, Bonner played for the tennis team and volunteered for the Huntington Kids Club. During her junior year, she served as a campus ministry coordinator and ministered to the girls living on her floor.
“This leadership position challenged me to learn how to help others my age grow spiritually and it helped me to grow,” Bonner said.
The smaller size of the university also attracted Bonner to become a student at HU. She vividly recalls walking around campus and mostly knowing everyone, and they knowing her. She also received personalized attention from her professors whenever she had a question or needed guidance.
“After leaving HU, I felt prepared to be in some kind of full time ministry,” Bonner said. “I was not exactly sure what, but because of the support of professors and my PRIME mentor and God, I slowly believe that I was born to lead.”