A Different Approach

By Nakeisha Brownlee

After working for 3c Ministries for a full two weeks, I have a gained a greater understanding of how things operate around here.  I know the hierarchy of the church and the roles of the staff members, volunteers and church members.  Before, I had no prior knowledge about how a G-12 ministry operates, I now know that everybody is responsible for somebody. In a nutshell, a G-12 ministry, which stands for Government of 12, develops disciples, who in turn develop disciples and the cycle continues in that format. The church grows tremendously and accountability is never lost.  The only thing left to do is actually work on an assignment.

When I first decided to pursue an “internship” with 3c, I created a job description and sent it over to the decision makers.  When they accepted and told me that they would be happy to have me, I was thrilled that I would be working on the things that I outlined.  Even the first meeting I had when I arrived had me geared up to hit the ground running…I really haven’t been doing much running.

My first week was great; it was very hands on and community outreach driven.  The second week was a week of learning…but nobody wanted me to help with any particular assignment.  The focus was for me to understand their operating systems ~ the why, the how…but nothing hands-on.  I attended several meetings about upcoming projects and events, but no assignments were given to me, and my offer to help was often gracefully declined.  As the week continued, I started to realize that they do not want me to help; I am here solely to watch and learn.  Don’t get my wrong, my major in undergrad was Sociology – people watching and note taking is never a problem; however, my intent in this case, was to assist where needed, but it seems as if they don’t need my assistance 😦.

Had I known that I would be learning more and working less, I would have prepared myself for an ethnographic study.  My notes would have been more extensive and my social interactions would have been slightly different.  I would have prepared questions that would potentially lead me to the development of a theory.  With one full week left in South Africa and a trip to Morocco in between, I believe the window to successfully conduct an ethnographic study has closed.

I will continue to take advantage of this great opportunity and learn all I can while I am here.  I have a great host family and everybody around me has been more than accommodating (I feel like I have said this in a previous post, but it’s so true!).  The next time an opportunity like this presents itself, I will take a different approach.

Until next time…



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