MEET SHANNON O’BRIEN: Going Out In Joy

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Meet Shannon O’Brien: she spent a summer serving and learned that there is joy in serving and seeking to do everything for the excellence of God. 

 

What led you to decide to commit to a summer church internship?

 

 

While in college all of my summers have been spent in Michigan as a Program Director at camp or living it up with my older sister in Grand Rapids. I was looking for a new adventure! (Total 7 move. ;)) I heard about LakePointe in Hot Springs, AR when I was at a missions conference first when I was in Nebraska, then again when I went to it in Oregon. This church sounded crazy! They’ve had MMA fights in their parking lot to draw people in and every St. Patrick’s day Hot Springs goes all out and they have a huge parade and LP (LakePointe) walks in the parade and hands out shot glasses that say “Give God a Shot!”. Uhm…What?! This church was like nothing I had experienced before! I loved their heart for evangelism! Another big factor was that I had some friends who had also done an internship at LP. This was a great place to bounce ideas off and just to see what it was really like and get an insiders view. ALSO! After college I will be going into full time ministry, and I’ve always had experience here and there with working at a church, but I had never just dived in like this before and I was looking for more experience to grow in my strengths and weaknesses.

 

 

 

 What’s one way you worked to prepare your heart for this adventure? 

 

 

I love this question! This last year I have had an awesome bud that I pray with everyday! About everything! When I came back from a singer songwriters conference I experienced a supernatural healing (my right leg was shorter then my left and they prayed over me and commanded my right leg to grow out in the name of Jesus, AND IT DID!) so after this I was pumped to pray anywhere at any time! My friend and I would just pray about about my internship. For funding, for a great host family, for my car to make it down there! (Poor college student problems! ;)) So this helped ease my heart and also allowed me to see answers along the way that God was working with me in this! And there were days where I didn’t want to go anymore and just wasn’t into it. This was definitely spiritual warfare and it was so good to have my prayer partner to keep my mind on track! So to answer this question, prayer!

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What did you learn about the church and serving others through your time as an intern? 

 

 

LakePointe was the place where I felt like I truly put the ministry Christ calls us to into practice. Yes Jesus tells us to love everybody…but everybody? Sometimes we have an idea in our mind of who should be at church and most often then not those ideas are so wrong. EVERYONE is welcome at church. I loved LP’s mission statement. LakePointe is a place to belong, belong as you change, and change as you follow Jesus. Everybody was at LakePointe! This was the most diverse church I have ever been apart of, and it was BEAUTIFUL! We didn’t all look perfect, but we are all made perfect through Christ! This was the first place I had truly seen welcome the drunks off the street sitting next to the cute old couple in their matching Sunday best. There was no division, just love.

 

 

 

What did your internship teach you about yourself? 

 

 

My internship taught me is that I love teamwork! This might sound so silly, but usually I am so bent on doing everything on my own or think I am bothering people when wanting to bring them in on a project. Whoops. But that summer we had so many raw and authentic team meetings where I loved working with others and learning how our gifts worked with each other, and more often then not they had way better ideas! Or we built ideas off of each other. God has given everyone amazing gifts, and if we don’t tap into that and work together we are limiting the Body of Christ and how God has created us to be in relationship with one another.

 

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What’s something people should know before they do a church internship?

 

 

One thing you should people should know before looking at an internship is that you will get to see everything! This is good and bad. News flash: in ministry you deal with people in their real lives, and real life is real messy! With this, internships are not always perfect, or “Instagram worthy”. So be ready to deal with all the messiness of a church because the church is a hospital for the sick and things are not perfect here. But in this I grew the most I have ever have. Even though there was not the most perfect situations we had great leadership where we could talk everything out and bring our focus back on God after some healthy conflict resolution. Though all the messiness we grew so much!

 

 

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