Y2 –Meet Tayler Johnson
UT student Tayler Johnson is serving in the 2017 TAC College Pastoral Internship Project at FUMC Athens.
Some 15 years ago, The Texas Annual Conference committed to cultivating vibrant, growing churches while investing in a younger generation through programs like the College Pastoral Internship Project. Students experience the life of a pastor for 10 weeks in the summer.
Q. How did you decide to become a pastoral intern?
A. I grew up going to church, but not understanding the value of a relationship with God. I quit going to church but later felt like something was missing in my life. A friend invited me to YoungLife, where I heard a story about Jesus eating with the tax collectors and sinners. It was in the verses of this story that I began to see how I had put God as the reason for my problems instead of the solution to them. I became heavily involved in YoungLife and then FUMC Corpus Christi, which became my home and community in late March of 2013. When I became involved in the Texas Wesley Campus Ministry, I really saw God working in my life and felt God call me to ministry while on a mission trip over spring break to South Padre Island. I heard about the Texas Annual Conference College Pastoral Internship Project (CPIP) from a friend who participated last summer. After some prayer and reflection, I felt as if this internship would give me the best opportunity to explore pastoral ministry.
Q. What kind of things are you doing this summer?
A. I am serving at FUMC Athens this summer and have had the chance to shadow our lead pastor in most everything he does. This includes: working on a back-to-school weekend for families in the Athens area as well as planning events to attract young families to our church. My lead pastor is very involved in the community, so I attend events around town with him to see how a pastor should be involved in their community.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of the internship?
A. I enjoy building relationships with the congregation and finding ways that I can serve them in ministry. My favorite memory was a note I received from a little girl I had only known for two days. The note said, “Dear Mr. Tayler, Thank you for encouraging me and being my leader. But most importantly, thank you for being my friend.”
Q. What is this experience confirming?
A. I definitely believe this experience has been confirming my call to ministry. I have gotten to see both sides to what it means to be a pastor, but my heart continues to see that the joys outweigh the concerns.
Q. What’s next?
A. After this internship concludes, I will go back to Austin to finish up my last semester as an undergraduate student, followed by an internship with the Texas Wesley Foundation. I will enter seminary in the fall of 2018.
Q. Describe your preaching experiences:
A. I will preach several times and lead different parts of worship throughout the summer, including the opportunity to lead devotions at the Conference Chapel.