The Ministry Inquiry Program: Students Discover Vocation

Farmer's Market 1web_

Senior Matt Naugle, top right with fellow RISE workers at the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market this summer, collecting produce for food pantries.

Jacob Landis, Senior, and Matt Naugle, Senior, gave a chapel presentation about their experience in EMU’s Ministry Inquiry Program on Friday. A few days after the chapel, Naugle reflected, “what we talked about in chapel was just the bare bones of my experience.”

The Ministry Inquiry Program is an opportunity for EMU students to take 11 weeks in the summer to intern with a church and discover if vocational ministry is right for them. MIP also provides $2,000 to the student for tuition expenses. The church can either be chosen by the student or recommended by MIP.

Naugle worked with RISE United Methodist Faith Community here in Harrisonburg.

“I had already felt called to vocational ministry, so MIP was confirming, but it may have shifted,” he said.

Naugle now feels like he would like to work with young people.

“They have so much to contribute, but they don’t realize it. They’re told they need to grow up first or get x or y degree. The message is ‘You’re only useful to society once you’ve become an adult.’”

Naugle was invited to listen to stories of people in the church and find mutual ground to exist in community at RISE. He participated in the projects “Gleaning” and “Rise and Shine.”

“Gleaning” was a process of going out to the farmers market and asking vendors to donate extra produce to those in need.

“My hope in humanity was restored when vendors would give us more than we knew what to do with, like 60 lbs of cucumbers.”

“Rise and Shine” takes donations of hygiene products and distributes them to the community.

“By the time lower-income families get done paying their bills and food costs, they often run out of money for hygiene products,” said Naugle.

Landis wanted to explore ministry and felt called to go work at Scottdale Mennonite in Scottdale, PA.

Landis shadowed the pastor at Scottdale. He learned how to prepare sermons, and “everything else that a pastor does when he’s not doing that.”

Getting to know the congregation was the most meaningful part of the MIP for Landis.

“I got to walk with people through painful times… and listen to them,” he said.

When he wasn’t preparing a sermon, Landis was going out on house calls and helping church members with hands-on problems like a broken sink or a sinkhole that needed filled.

After going through the MIP, Landis reflected, “Somehow in someway, sometime in the future, I’ll have a role in ministry, whether it’s formal or informal.”

-Ellen Roth, Photography Editor, Web Manager; photo provided by Matt Naugle

Categories: News

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply