By Emily Middleton
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Emily and I’m a member of Dromore Baptist Church. I live outside a wee place called Kinallen, County Down and I’m currently a first year student here at the Irish Baptist College.
2. You did the Baptist Youth Internship and then started IBC as an undergraduate the next year. Did you enjoy the internship? Tell us why you decided to begin the Preparation for Ministry course at IBC.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Baptist Youth Internship and I am deeply thankful to God for it. Throughout the year, He taught me a lot about Himself, His church and myself. A great deal of this learning took place at Craigavon Baptist Church where I was given many opportunities to serve. I particularly enjoyed their prayer meetings and getting involved at their JAM club. However, far greater than the time I gave was the blessing I received from the congregation there. They were truly wonderful and I was humbled as they faithfully supported and prayed for me. Working with Baptist Youth was a steep learning curve — youth talks and filming videos were not in my comfort zone at all. Yet I was continually being reminded that I needed to rely completely on God to enable me. Matt was a constant encouragement, he was incredibly patient and I thank God for how He used him to shape me further into Jesus’ likeness. Of course, there was also some fun along the way! Before entering into the internship, I was already seriously considering the Preparation for Ministry course at IBC. Through a lot of prayer, reading the Bible, circumstances and careful guidance from my church, I was certain about entering into full-time Christian service. However, I was also very aware of my youth and lack of experience. The internship provided an opportunity to grow and mature as well as to study one day a week at IBC. I loved the classes so I decided to apply, trusting that God would direct my path. He got me through the application process and provided a place...so here I am!
3. The undergraduate programme is very different to the internship. What differences have you noticed?
There’s a lot more studying and essays and class is no longer just one day a week!
4.How are you finding first year? What are the positives? Have there been any challenges?
So far, I’m loving first year at IBC. All the classes have been great but I’ve also really benefited from the devotional and prayer times. I am thankful that the studying is academically challenging while also being extremely beneficial for future ministry. The greatest challenge of all has probably been adjusting to life at IBC with so many different Covid-19 regulations, however, I am very thankful to have had mostly face-to-face teaching during the first semester and also to have made some great new friends.
5. Tell us something that you have learned over the past few months.
Over the past few months (and years), God has been teaching me daily that His ways are perfect. I am a perfectionist and am often prone to trust in myself and my own ways. By God’s grace, He has been shaping me to become more humble and to trust in Him more, as well as those He has placed in my life. I’ve learnt to pray more, not just in quiet times, but throughout my day. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).