Erin Thompson '17

Erin ThompsonMajor: Popular Music
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Describe your current job role:

I am currently an intern at Hope Chapel Maui where I serve in Worship and Special events.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

I had been active in worship ministry for many years at First Baptist Lake Park. It was there that my passion for worship developed, even as I was a student at PBA. 

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

There is a lot of administrative work that goes into a thriving worship ministry in a church. About 70% of my time is spent in the office doing paperwork and prepping for the weekend. It isn’t the glamorous rock star role that some might perceive it to be. However, the time I get to spend with our musicians and being creative far outweighs the mundane office work! 

"Walk boldly into the things that await you."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

My time at PBA gave me so many tools for entering the world of ministry. I cannot thank Mark Aliapoulios and Chris Maloney enough for the time they invested in me and my musicianship. Equally important were the lessons I learned as a ministry minor. Leading worship is more than being a “Christian rock star”. At PBA, I learned what the Lord’s heart for worship ministry is, seen in scripture. I learned how to love and lead people well as they serve in our ministry.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Just go for it! Walk boldly into the things that await you. It is easy to feel intimidated by the “real world.” While there are certainly big challenges that come from leaving the safety of PBA, there are so many wonderfully exciting opportunities to grow. Take risks, be brave, and don’t settle for the promise of comfort. You’ve been given everything you need to succeed out there so go for it! 

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you? 

I have amazing mentors that have partnered with me in my ministry journey. One mentor in particular has been my dad, who pastors a church in Lake Park Florida. I’ve been fortunate to have a dad who understands both the challenges and great rewards of vocational ministry. He encourages me to keep a Biblical focus in my worship leading and to remember the reason I chose to pursue full time ministry.

Having a mentor in your professional field is crucial. They have the ability to speak truth into hardships and encourage in ways that someone outside of the profession doesn’t. Personally, my mentors have made all the difference in my attitude and effort toward my job.

Spotlight posted in May 2018.