"QuadW deeply scarred me and I'll never be the same. The way I approach ministry, understand church, see, hear, and connect with Jesus, spend my money....it's all been turned upside down."
These are the words of Wes Anderson. He is the son of a pastorand had been in the United Methodist Church his whole life. As a child, he went through Confirmation, learned the church's history, and came to faith in Jesus. But it wasn't until he experienced the QuadW missional internship that he "fully grasped what it actually means to follow Jesus, be His church, and carry out His mission."
So what is QuadW? What could bring about this shift and change, this beautiful scarring that could forever change a life for the better?
The QuadW Vision
Through the QuadW Missional Internship, college-aged students (18-25) come and experience all that is offered in a 9-month Forge residency in an intense, 8-week timeframe. The QuadW internship follows the exact ideology of the Forge curriculum; but unlike the residency program, interns live together while they are being poured into through hands-on discipleship and real-life experience living in a place where missional-incarnational work is ongoing.
Students are actually paid $2,000 to spend their summer with QuadW (plus room and board!). This is possible due to the generosity of the the Tichenor family who set up the QuadW foundation in order to honor the legacy of their son, Willie, who passed away at age 19 of osteosarcoma. What Would Willie Want (QuadW)? Before he died, missional service opportunities were incredibly important to him and very formative in his life, and so QuadW honors his legacy and desires by funding similar opportunities for young adults.
The primary mission of these internships coincides with the primary mission of Forge, and these live-in internships provide the opportunity for young adults to experience what it's like to live missionally.
- They act, then reflect.
- They find themselves going through liminality and change.
- They are taught to do spiritual rhythms and practices together, and seek to live as a Jesus community in the neighborhoods where they are sent.
QuadW Leadership Spotlight
This level of transformation would not be possible with leaders who are willing to pour themselves into guiding this program. Josh Shepherd is one one of those leaders.
Josh and his wife serve in Kansas City and are the only leaders who have the opportunity to actually live with the interns. Their non-profit owns a large house where they live with up to 14 interns throughout each summer. In his words, "By far, the most rewarding part of my work with QuadW is the opportunity to do life with a passionate group of young people from a diverse array of cultural backgrounds. I'm going into my third year doing this, and I've probably changed more than anyone. In that time, we've continuously lived with young people, whether through the internship or the 9-month residency that we also host. So we've been able to have literally hundreds, if not thousands, of conversations with an international group of young people who want to learn how to live out the missional-incarnational call wherever they go and through whatever they do."
It's one thing to show up in a classroom and teach ideas and principles, but it's quite another to actually live and model everything you teach with your life, and that's what Josh has done. This gives the interns a unique opportunity to not only learn, but to experience what it is like to truly live missionally. Throughout the year, leaders are shaping the content, anticipating the needs of the interns, and then guiding them through the process over the course of the summer weeks.
What's Next for QuadW?
Don Woolley, who works full time with QuadW and directs the internship as part of the Forge America team, has played an instrumental role in making this internship available in more locations all over the nation so that more young people can experience this life-changing experience like Wes did. QuadW is speeding ahead and anticipating even more growth, and they're already praying for the young adults who will experience the internship this year.
With a brand new year ahead, QuadW is now ready to receive new interns who want to take part in this incredible experience. This is the perfect opportunity for college-aged young adults. For those who are looking for the chance to truly learn about living on mission, but also need income from a summer job, the QuadW stipend makes investing in their journey possible, which is incredibly unique. This potent eight-week program has been life-changing for so many and continues to equip and unleash the power of young adults for the mission of God.
If you're interested, or if you've got some young adults in mind, click over to http://quadwmi.org/ to apply. Don't miss out on the chance be a part of what the QuadW internship has to offer!
As Wes Anderson said, "It wasn't until experiencing this internship, that I fully grasped what it actually means to follow Jesus, be His church, and carry out His mission. For this, I have God to thank, and the QuadW missional internship."
About the Author
Lauren Mickler is a word artist and Jesus lover who serves on the Forge Tyler team and has a heart for seeing true discipleship and restoration brought to her city. She also doubles as a mom, wife, coffee lover, and CrossFitter… Sometimes at the same time.