Putting media with ministry
August 2, 2010
A passion for ministry and for communication have landed soon-to-be Calvin College senior Brian Speelman with summer internships with ReFrame Media—the English-language ministries of the Back to God Hour Ministries International, located in Palos Heights, Illinois.
The Darien, Ill., native is in his second year of interning for ReFrame Media, which is a good match for his talents.
”During my sophomore year, I was put in contact with Steven Koster who is the director for ReFrame Media,” said Speelman. “I was hired to be a general communications intern during the summer and it turned out to be a great experience in a really cool environment. I gained valuable experience, and I also received an internship credit with Calvin’s CAS (communication arts and sciences) department.”
Showcasing new talent
As a first-year intern, Speelman was given the responsibility of using social media to promote ReFrame Media’s programming. He was also given the chance to co-host and co-produce the organization’s Under the Radar music program. "The purpose of the program is to highlight up-and-coming Christian music artists that are talented but are flying under the radar,” he explained the radio show.
A computer science major with a minor in communications, Speelman worked for ReFrame Media over the Christmas break this year. During that time, he was asked to return for another summer with the organization.
"I had mentioned that I needed credit for my computer science major, and I was put in contact with the Web master at ReFrame,” said Speelman, who was told that the organization would have a summer project for him. “The project is building a website that archives some of the sermons and radio productions of the Back to God Radio Hour program that was phased out a few months ago,” he said. “The goal is to build a search engine aspect to it.”
As part of the project, Speelman has been in charge of deciding which Web pages to build and then creating mock-up versions of the pages to send to Web designers. After the designed pages are sent back, Speelman has been in charge of writing the Web code in order to launch the new site.
He has also been involved in the new half-hour audio program Groundwork, which launched April 18, which is intended to cultivate faith in its listeners. According to his supervisor, Speelman brings a strong worth ethic and passion to his work each and every day.
Passion for ministry
"Brian's passion for ministry is so clear to us,” said Jerod Clark, ReFrame Media’s intern supervisor. “Since we first met him more than a year ago, he’s given up his personal time to help up us do better ministry. While some college students choose to take a vacation over Christmas and spring breaks, Brian has put his time and talents to work to minister to tens of thousands of listeners. Since we've seen his talents and hard work ethic—this summer we've given him control over building a new website for one of our programs from scratch.”
His talents are part of a work environment filled with eager employees: “The people I work with have all joined the organization within the last five years,” said Speelman. “There is a lot of energy every day, with people pushing each other for new things. It’s been exciting.”
Speelman’s passion for ministry began to emerge as a student at Timothy Christian High School where he served on the school’s chapel committee. As part of the committee, Speelman not only played guitar during school chapel services, but also ran the projection screens when not playing.
After choosing to attend Calvin, Speelman began running sound and projection for Calvin’s chapel and LOFT services. This past year, he was a member of Calvin's Barnabas Team and, beginning this fall, will serve as a worship apprentice.
As for his future goals, Speelman wants to continue combining ministry and media. “I would love to work in church communications, helping a congregation communicate the message it has," said Speelman. "Sometimes messages in a church get muddied. I would like to help streamline the message of all of the different programs of a church so that each one comes in clear. That way, each person who walks through the door immediately knows what the church is about and can immediately connect.”
~by Jeff Febus, communications and marketing