Huntington University sophomore Ben Wulpi’s passions and interests led him to an internship with the Manchester Congregational Christian Church in North Manchester, Ind. Wulpi found the opportunity with help from the university's Enterprise Resource Center.
Between November 2007 and May 2008, Wulpi led the contemporary worship service on Sundays and ran the worship team practices during the week. He assisted with the youth group during Sunday school and occasionally led worship during youth group meetings.
Prior to his internship, Wulpi, a Bible and religion major from Fort Wayne, Ind., had considered worship ministry to be a passion rather than a calling. “I think I still feel that way,” said Wulpi, “but this experience has made me think about that and examine more carefully what I want to do.”
As worship leader, Wulpi faced the challenges of coordinating practices as well as directing a worship team more experienced than him. “I learned the importance of working with good people,” Wulpi said. “They were very encouraging and helpful.”
J.P. Freeman, the senior pastor at Manchester Congregational Christian Church, saw Wulpi rise to the occasion during his internship. “Ben blossomed as a worship leader, moving from a slightly timid singer to exhibiting a commanding presence for the Lord,” said Freeman. “Ben grew here a great deal.”
Despite Wulpi not knowing the sermon themes beforehand, Freeman thought the coordination between worship and teaching happened naturally. “It seemed to me that God did a fine job of using Ben and his band’s songs with my sermons," he said.
While worship ministry may not be Wulpi’s calling, he still learned valuable lessons about leadership, organization and communication. Wulpi credited his Bible classes with enabling him to lead worship. “As I learn more about God, it gives me more reason and better means to worship Him and lead others in the same.”
Wulpi would recommend students take advantage of any internship opportunities. “No matter how much you learn in the classroom, gaining practical experience is the real education.”
The Enterprise Resource Center at Huntington University – we’re all about pairing Huntington University students with area businesses for internships, practicum experiences, class projects and special projects.