Summer Reflections - Delaney
By Delaney McKelvie
Our Summer Interns blew us away with their ability to plan, manage, work hard and more importantly connect with and invest in our children and youth. What a blessing they have been to us as staff and to the adults, kids and youth they worked along side. We thought you'd enjoy hearing about what the summer meant to them, so this week we will publish a blog post each day written by each of our interns. Delaney finishes up the week of blog posts for us...
Wow wow wow! I am so incredibly thankful for the summer I had here interning at SBC. There are so many big moments that happened this summer, whether that be camps or fun youth events, but I found that it was in the littlest of things that I learned the biggest lessons. I’d love to share in this blog three things I learned this summer!
1. Just Being.
It was the first night of Ignite youth since being back for the summer, and I was excited, but definitely nervous. As I stood behind the check in counter awaiting the youth who would arrive in a few short minutes, I found myself a lot more nervous than I expected. All of a sudden I forgot how to speak to youth, and I didn’t know how I was going to talk to them, never mind build relationships with them this summer.
Eventually they started arriving, and though it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be I definitely felt a little awkward the whole night. In this moment, on this particular youth night I was a little discouraged with my lack of progress and awkwardness. Maybe you’ve volunteered and felt the same way, or you’re nervous to volunteer because of this very thing.
In every program we ran this summer as interns, I learned the importance of consistently just being with people. I didn’t build relationships with kids or youth this summer by being the coolest intern there ever was. I can tell you that I was not. But instead, one invitation to play dutch blitz at a time, I built relationships with youth and with kids. It didn’t happen right away like I expected it to at the beginning of the summer, but with intentionality and consistency I was able to see fruit in the smallest of ways.
I hope that this is encouraging to hear in whatever relationships you are hoping to build in your life. If you’re volunteering for SBC Kids, or youth, or adult ministries, don’t be discouraged right at the beginning that things are a little more awkward than you would like. As you spend time with people, serve them, and are there for them consistently, relationships will be built, and you’ll be surprised by the fruit that comes from them!
2. Selfless Serving.
As I looked out into the crowd of kids singing and doing the actions for the Summer Nights songs in the park, I couldn’t help but notice the BRIGHT orange shirts of our lovely volunteers amidst the kids. Though initially it was their bright shirts that stood out to me, I began to notice other things about them that spoke louder to me than the loudness of their orange shirts.
It wasn’t only the kids doing the actions, but every single volunteer was doing the actions too! As the week went on, I took note of all the little things and big things these volunteer’s did. And boy was I amazed. Some came early, lead a small group, AND stayed until the very end to do take down. Some I saw making conversation with the kids and connecting with them over what they had done that day or the lesson that was taught. Some I saw connecting with parents during the checkout process to build relationships there too. Every volunteer modelled to me what it means to be faithful in the little things, to give selflessly of their time, and to give it all they had.
I loved the opportunity I had to learn from the volunteer’s this summer, and was so encouraged by their sacrifice and character. If you are a volunteer and you’re reading this, I see you! And I’m so inspired by you.
3. The Why.
Some of the programs the interns ran this summer included drop in’s for both elementary age kids, and middle school youth. It was a challenging and a blast all at the same time!
After our first K-5 drop in this summer I found myself very exhausted, and somewhat glad that it was over. I think this is a common trap we can fall into in many different things we do in our lives. Either we’re just looking to get something over with, or we can’t wait to be able to move on to the next, “more important” thing.
After that first day, (and every drop in after it) I had to check my heart, and remind myself of ‘The Why’. And there were so many ‘why’s’ to remind myself of! My favourite ‘why’ was the incredible opportunity we had as interns to love the kids and youth that came to drop in. Whether they came once the whole summer, or they came every week. Whether they had been in a church before, or not. Drop in was the best place to just be with the kids. As the summer went on, I didn’t become less tired after a drop in. But as I allowed God to shape my view of the kids and the reason behind it, my capacity to love was greater. I found that my whole attitude and perspective was changed when God’s view of the kids became what I saw too.
It was beautiful! I challenge you to ask God for his perspective on the things you are doing, and the groups you are a part of. If it’s hard to think of ‘the why’, ask Him for ‘the why’. When you allow Him to shape your view, I believe that your perspective will be changed just like mine was.
It was difficult to choose just three things to share with you, but I hope that these three things serve as an encouragement as well as a sneak peak into what interning is like at SBC. I am so thankful for every volunteer, every person who has said hi to me on Sunday’s, every staff member that has welcomed me and supported me well, and everyone who has prayed for me this summer. I will miss you all!!