It’s 8:25 on the first day of class and students file past Brown Chapel on their way to class. Even though it’s not time for chapel yet, they can hear music coming from inside as George Williamson, director of worship ministries, and the worship leaders under him have already begun practicing for the morning’s chapel. Of these worship leaders, there are a select few who take on more responsibility by applying for the worship internship program.
Becoming an intern with PLNU Worship Ministries requires a lengthy application process and once accepted, interns are expected to take on a lot of responsibility. This year the three returning interns welcomed five new students: junior Hailey Fulcher, junior James Bishop, senior Taylor Austin, sophomore Heidi Baeza, and junior Brad Kounter.
“I get to observe people’s leadership skills in the mundane stuff,” said Williamson. “I’m looking for people with servant hearts, communication skills, good musicianship, and a recognition that our theology impacts how we approach ministry.”
Two of the newly initiated worship interns, junior James Bishop and senior Hailey Fulcher, both agree that being a worship intern involves a lot of preparation and serious prayer, but also a lot of fun
“When we’re asked to lead in music for a chapel or timeout, there is a lot of time and energy that is spent putting everything together,” said Bishop. “In my short experience with this, [it] has been a pretty serious responsibility…but I am absolutely loving every bit of it.”
Bishop sees his efforts as an offering to the Lord and likes to let Him work in the hearts of students, faculty and staff while he’s onstage.
“There’s something really cool about working really hard at creating something, and then giving it away, especially for the purposes of God,” said Bishop. “[I pray] for God’s will to be done, because let’s be real, that is going to be so much better than anything I come up with on my own.”
Fulcher explained that interning has also been a large addition to her already busy schedule but that she loves the support she gets from her fellow interns.
“The combination of being a worship intern as well as a nursing student can make my weeks pretty busy,” said Fulcher. “The week involves picking the songs we will sing, putting together chord charts, putting together the PowerPoint, and much more, but it has been a joy to get to go deep with my fellow interns.”
Bishop said his favorite thing about interning is the way their worship reaches into people’s lives and engages them.
“It’s crazy to think that your efforts can have some sort of impact, large or small, on this community to help peers and friends realize God’s presence in their lives,” said Bishop. “That’s probably my favorite thing.”