I’m 21 and love Jesus. If only that was enough. The application is only 2 pages long. They ask for my all my contact information and a little about my church background. Simple. That is, until you get to the second page. Free-response. Then, it’s like going through Purgatory.

Define the gospel. You want me to do what? The gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t just something you can define. It’s so much bigger and more beautiful than a dictionary definition. When Christ alters your life, fills your life with unending hope and eternal joy, and gives you life eternal, you don’t just write a sentence about it or even a paragraph! You write a whole library about it, because it’s something so beautiful, so divine, something so incredibly wonderful, and Grace isn’t something I can do to myself. I was, and still am, totally reliant upon His Grace every single nanosecond of my existence.

Church history? Please no. Grace for today. Hurt by the youth of my first church, rejected by the youth pastor of my second church. Grace overcame all, and I was called into youth ministry, despite my church history. 

Why do you want to be an intern? I think we’d be here until Christmas if I sat here and listed all the reasons. I want to to be able to share Jesus with dozens of youth who desperately need to know that He cares for them individually, I want to be able to pour Truth into youth who have believed the lies the world has told them about who they are and what they’re worth. I want to be a living example of the agape love and Grace of Jesus Christ, and I want youth to know that they are never alone. On a practical level, I want to see how the gears of the Church turn. I want to know the ins and the outs of all ministries so I can better serve the Kingdom. 

Strengths? Weaknesses? I don’t just want to list them for you. I want to tell you how God has used both my strengths and my weaknesses for His Glory, even when people said that God couldn’t possibly use me, even when I believed my weaknesses were greater than my strengths.

Ministry involvement? We might be here all day. Youth Leadership Council. Amigos for Christ. Global Christian Fellowship. RUF. Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church. 

What did you do last summer? I sat beside the homeless. All day. Every day. I shared life with them, broke bread with them, cried with them, loved with them. I heard stories that broke my heart and brought me to my knees. I saw redemption manifested, and Provision provided. I learned to love without caring what people thought, trusting God to use me and work through me no matter what.

Anything else you want to say? I have flown in planes that should not have made it off the runway, swam with stingrays almost twice my size, climbed volcanoes when incredibly ill, and almost (and should have) died 3+ times within the span of 15 minutes while in Nicaragua. I have seen the Grace of God manifested in my life. I have seen the Provision of God manifested through the feeding of the 5,000 – but in real life, not just as a Bible story. I have experienced His Mercy and Healing after being hurt by not just one church but two. I have felt the Love of God through relationships with friends and through His Son. And now, all I want to do is share the reason for all of that – Jesus – with the next generation and the rest of the world.

It’s hard to just write a paragraph when I want to write a whole book. (Oh wait, I am)! So to all of those who are reading my ministry internship applications, know that there’s so much more to me than just the answers to those questions. Know that I want to love your youth and your church until there is nothing left, and then through the overwhelming Grace of God, I’ll love and pour out some more.

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Shameless plug: If you’re interested in having me intern for you, please contact me me at alyhathcock1 [at] gmail.com. I would love to serve you and your church.

To everyone else, follow me on Twitter: @alyhathcock

PS: I don’t actually believe in Purgatory.