Wes Adams ’14 - “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40
If I were to give a theme to my summer it would be the above verse. I have been blessed this summer to intern at Lifeway Baptist Church in Ellettsville, Indiana. Often when we think of churches we think of preachers and sermons, but there is so much more that goes into the running of a church. In the daily life of a pastor, and church staff, life can be very hectic. However, through it all they must strive to keep everything in order. It is not an easy thing to do.
Lifeway Baptist Church is an independent Baptist church located in Ellettsville. In 40 years the church has grown from 37 people meeting in homes to now averaging 650 people on a Sunday morning. The church runs many different ministries. To name just a few they have a jail ministry, Reformers Unanimous, nursing home ministry, food pantry, benevolence fund, bus ministry, and more. Each and every ministry’s mission is to reach people with the gospel, but they also provide needed help. The food pantry and benevolence fund allow the church to help families who don’t know where their next meal is coming from or money for rent. It is a church that cares as much about teaching its members doctrine as reaching out into the community.
As an intern at Lifeway I have gotten to work very closely with the pastoral staff, take on responsibilities of my own, and worked on various projects for the church. A few projects that I was able to work on were making written church policy for our nursery, ushers, and music department. I have been able to update background check information for all those who work with our youth. I have researched and made a worker’s covenant. I even got to organize fire evacuation routes in order to make sure we were up to insurance standards.
Some of my responsibilities have been to preach to children, teens, and to the church congregation as a whole. I have helped with the bus ministry and the youth group. I have gone on weekly bus and church outreach and visitation. I went to visit with those in nursing homes, our shut-ins, and made hospital visits to help comfort those in need. Of all the ministries I have been able to work in I believe the bus ministry has given me the greatest memories. Each week the church sends out buses to bring in children and families from Bloomington, Ellettsville, and Spencer. Many children that ride our buses come from difficult family situations and often just need someone they know will be there for them.
Though the church provides many services I never realized just how often people turn to the church in times of need. It seems that there are always people in need that know to come to Lifeway for help. Though we can’t help everyone we come across, I have seen many struggling people find an arm to lean on here at Lifeway this summer.
I have learned a great deal during the summer. There are two sides to the ministry of a church. On one side they must spread the gospel, care for people, teach, and provide. On the other side they must structure and administer themselves in a way that allows them to fulfill their goals.