Leveraging the Power of Internships, Part 2

In a previous blog post, I shared how my 12-year-old daughter was able to be a blessing to others and build life skills through an internship. After seeing how beneficial the experience was both for her and for the music store where she interned, I started to seek out an appropriate internship for my son.

What could a quiet, techno-driven 17-year old do?

Minecraft, programming, video games, Android apps, digital music creation—anything that has to do with technology is a natural fit for my 17-year-old son, Jacob. A true digital native, he acquires new technological skills at the drop of a hat! Internship opportunities in the digital realm must surely abound, but where would I find the positive, Christian atmosphere I wanted him to have for his first internship?

After considering and praying about the issue for some time, I approached our pastor, who admits to being technologically challenged. I told him I was looking for an internship for my son and and asked if he could use a young assistant. He shared his vision of placing edited videos from previous sermons online—a project he lacked the skill to do. Would my son be interested in learning to edit videos?

I thought back a few years to when Jacob started his own YouTube channel to share the Minecraft videos he created. Although he did not actually edit the videos he shared, I thought he would enjoy learning to do it, and I was sure he could quickly acquire the necessary skills. I presented the opportunity to my son, and he said he would like to try.

One Friday afternoon I dropped him off at the church so he could get started. He worked through the video software tutorials and started editing a sermon video that day. Within a couple hours he had learned how to enhance the videos by adding special effects and displaying verses or other information. Our pastor was impressed. Jacob has spent nearly every Friday afternoon since then editing videos for our church.

Initially two-way communication between Jacob and our pastor was challenging. Our pastor has a true gift for speaking—he opens his mouth and wise words just spill out. Jacob, on the other hand, speaks as seldom as possible. When he does have something to say, he tends to think it through completely before he even considers opening his mouth. While our pastor exercised his patience, our son has learned to think on his feet a bit more.

Jacob has gained valuable work experience over the last nine months of editing sermon videos. Our pastor recently asked to meet with my husband and me to talk about expanding our son’s role.

Yesterday, we sat down together as the pastor outlined some potential responsibilities—website maintenance, video production, social media interaction, and Android app development. Jacob has had experience creating and maintaining websites and has already begun learning to develop mobile apps. Taking on this larger role would give him the opportunity to broaden his skills. It would also require a greater time commitment. Jacob would spend up to three afternoons each week working for the church.

I am so grateful that our pastor had the wisdom to approach my husband and me first so we can approve the position for our son. After meeting with the pastor, we outlined the potential responsibilities to Jacob, and he is thinking it over and praying about it. Whether he decides to go for it or not, we are proud of the work he has already done and excited about this new opportunity!

Be sure to check out part 1 and part 3 of this series as well!