By Susan Shinn Turner
Callie Kirchin, a senior at Salisbury High School, spent last fall as a children’s ministry intern. This spring, she’s continued serving as a volunteer on Wednesday afternoons.
Callie has served on the LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization) board for the N.C. Synod. After she became a member of that board, she was talking with Kai Thurow about the roles of youth ministers and youth directors. Because she had to take an internship class at school, she asked Kai if she could intern at St. John’s.
“It seemed pretty fun,” Callie says. “My older sister, Georgia, did an internship with Danielle, and she really enjoyed it. I thought, why not do it?”
“Her main tasks were preparing all the materials for the Kingdom Kids and EPIC Wednesday programs,” Kai says. “She also helped with setting up and organizing materials for children’s worship.”
He adds, “My goal was to give her a good glimpse of what a children’s minister does on a daily basis at St. John’s.”
As part of the school’s requirements for the internship, Kai evaluated Callie every two weeks.
“She did a fantastic job,” he notes. “She has a gift for working with people and in ministry, as well.”
“It’s a lot different than just going to a youth meeting,” Callie admits. “A lot of work goes into children’s ministry.”
Callie also worked with the Milestone boxes — a program which serves children ages 3 to fifth grade — and placed orders online for that program. She decorated the youth room to make it more homey and relaxing. Altogether, she worked 153 hours during the fall semester.
“It was really cool for me to see how Kai plans out events,” Callie says. “Youth members just don’t realize the extent of his planning. He also prays for every single youth member. It’s not just his job. It’s his life.”
The daughter of Ernie and Melanie Kirchin, Callie plans to attend N.C. State in the fall. She has not yet decided on her major.
“This has definitely helped me think about youth ministry as a career,” she says. “I’m definitely going to be involved with youth ministry at my college.”
As for Kai, he definitely appreciated the help.
“There’s always plenty to help with, and Callie was especially a big help since right now we don’t have a children’s minister,” Kai says. “It was incredibly helpful for me to have her there. It made my job a lot easier. I really enjoyed working with her, and I hope she continues to explore what it will look like to find a calling in ministry.”