Meet Our New Intern: Charlie Sheldon
Hi, Charlie! Where are you from?
I was born in Houston, Texas. When I was in second grade, I moved to a small suburb called Sugarland (about 30 minutes away) to be closer to better schools. There I spent the majority of my life, and my parents still live there today.
Where did you go to school?
Upon graduating Clements High School in 2012, I went to University of Texas at Dallas to study computer engineering. However, I quickly found out that it wasn't for me and I moved back to Sugarland in 2014. I then started to take classes at the College of Biblical Studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies in December 2017. In January 2018, I moved to Dallas to pursue my Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Can you tell us about your family?
My dad (Tom) works at a small company in the Houston area as an accountant and my mom (Hui-yu) recently got her realtor's license. My older sister (Emily) is also an accountant in Houston, and my younger sister (Katie) recently moved to the Bay area to be a project manager.
Why are you interested in youth ministry?
When I look back at my own teenage Christian experience, I am often met with this realization: You can go to church all your life but completely miss who Jesus is. I had gone through the motions of Christianity, I knew the songs to sing, I knew to pray before meals, I knew to be kind, I knew to not cuss, etc. I knew how to dance the Christian dance, but I did not know Jesus. Jesus was only a ticket to heaven for me. It wasn’t until much later that I saw past the Christian mannerisms and met Jesus, the one our souls delight in.
And so it is with this conviction that I approach TUFF. I recognize and even relate to growing calloused to the things of God. We know so much about God, but often there is a huge gap between the mind and the heart. I want to help bridge that gap and help lead them to genuinely pursue Christ during these formative years.
How did you get started in ministry?
I found my start in vocational ministry over a casual conversation with my pastor. I was looking for something to do after my freshman year at UTD, and my pastor mentioned that I could observe what he did over the summer. This experience opened my eyes to what it might look like for me to serve in a local church. Many months later, UTD asked me to leave the university because I had failed to keep up the necessary GPA to continue. I left, devastated and completely lost on what to do next. My dad wanted me to go into trade school to learn how to fix wind turbines. I really did not want to do that, so I compromised with him to allow me to try classes at this Bible college. After a semester studying there, I decided to continue taking classes with no long-term career goal in mind. However, in order to get a degree, I had to do a one-year internship in a church, paraministry or nonprofit. It was around that time where the church I previously interned was looking for a yearlong intern. After meeting with the youth pastor, I thought I would learn a lot from this and decided to accept the position. I ended up serving at that church for three years and started to capture a glimpse of God’s plan for me. My experience there was far from rainbows and sunshine; however, through it all, there never was a moment I wanted to throw in the towel. As storm after storm came, my burning heart for the local church to flourish still remained. For this, and other reasons, I feel that God is molding me to be a man that cares and leads others to genuinely pursue Christ in the local church context.