With great anticipation and excitement, I would like to announce the next segment of my life as far as the Lord has seen fit to show me. Back in February of this year, I applied for the NCFIC (Nation Center for Family Integrated Churches), internship and discipleship opportunity, and by the grace of God, I was accepted. The application included a variety of short essays, questions and answers and a list of reasons for desiring to join NCFIC in it’s work of kingdom advancement. Below I have listed a few of the reasons I gave, along with their more complete explanations, but here also are a couple of things that I thought were worth sharing.
There are some I’ve spoken with in regard to this internship who said something to the effect of, “It’s a really great option but I just don’t have the time.” Now while this may definitely be true for some, (if they’re in their thirties and have four kids), I don’t think for the average 18-25 year-old professing Christian young man, that time is really the problem here. Much of their concern is that they won’t have the time to do what they want to do. I don’t want to sound overly harsh in what I’m saying, and there are young men who’ve started their own business’s or are engrossed in a profession that won’t really allow them to step away for six months, but you still end up making time for what you want to do.
In my case, it wasn’t a matter of time. Yes, I had my own business; and yes, I was also working for a man at church in such a position that I was learning helpful handy-man-type skills, but I still had the time to do the internship. I didn’t really want to stop all of that enjoyable work for six months, but I quickly saw that the benefits of this opportunity outweighed what I wanted then, and I could still use my skills for advancing the kingdom of God. If the Lord wills, my business will be right where I left it when I’m done, and maybe I’ll be able to go back into building again; but for right now, its time to take a break from me, and focus on learning what it is to be a servant.
In my mind, there are really too many benefits to list here, but I’ll mention a few that stand out the most.
1. Growth In Love For the Word
I think this is one of the most important benefits, and also something I heard multiple times from previous interns. At the end of their time here, they understood more clearly the beauty of God’s Word. They had a richer and deeper desire to spend time in it, and to grow in their knowledge of it.
2. Understanding Theology
Before I was saved, I never had an interest in theology, (the study of God and His nature). Because I hated God, I didn’t even want to know who He was, or understand any of His attributes or characteristics. I had just barely enough head knowledge to get me by with colors still flying (sort of), and that was enough for me. However, I now have this as one of my main goals for the internship; to widen my knowledge of who God is, and to understand more aspects of His Being, so that I can give a better answer for the hope that is within me.
We’ll be reading approximately a book a week, which will be a great chance to learn. I’ve never read a book (any book, that I recall), in one week, so this will definitely be a challenge that I am looking forward to overcoming with the Lord’s help.
3. Observing the Role of Godly Fathers
Praise be to God that I’ve had the blessing of growing up all my life with both a father and a mother, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. However, during this internship we’ll be able to take advantage of the time we spend in other families homes, witnessing them in action together as a biblical unit, and understanding their structure in submission to their head, the father, and ultimately Christ. This time will be key for us as young men to pay close attention to how a godly father acts in his home, towards his children and his wife, so that we may someday wash our wives and families in the Word.
4. Learning Submission and Humility
These are the areas where the majority of young men today struggle the most. I know I do, and I know plenty of young men that do as well. This internship will be a time where we are taken from our usual places, and put in a position of service. As Christians, we are to be servants of Christ, and servants to one another, but because of pride and arrogance, we often forget our Christ-like role, and try to make ourselves above another. This will be a time of understanding what it means to be a follower rather than a leader, so that one day we can lead.
So what does taking six months out of out normal lives, to work in a non-income environment imply?
Well, first off, it means that it will be a complete change from life as we know it. But this is a good thing. It’s always a blessing to be taken out of our comfort zone and put into something rigorous for a while. We’ll be staying up till hour’s some aren’t used to, and we’ll be rising early in the morning. We’ll be testing our strength, and strengthening our weaknesses, and it will be such a good thing.
Secondly, it implies that we’ll be away from our families, (for the most part). By the kindness of God, I do have the advantage of living locally, so I will be seeing my own family much more often than the others (one of whom comes from Malawi, in Africa). But this is still a separation that will be bitter-sweet. It is a time for us as young men to learn something of what it is to take care of ourselves, yet thankfully in a controlled and biblically moderated environment. We’ll be buying our own gas and food, (which implies cooking), doing our own laundry and dishes, and we may even have to cut our own hair. Basically what I’m saying, is that we’ll hopefully learn to rely on God for all our needs, and learn how to be responsible with what the Lord gives us, without the reminders and motherly affection we take for granted.
I will be off of social media, this blog, and really any sort of status sharing system there is, for the duration of the internship, and it will be a wonderful time to concentrate on what the Lord has for me to learn.
Finally, I just want to say that I am truly looking forward to this internship, as the catalyst to a fuller and deeper walk with the Lord. God has been good enough to give me this opportunity, and I want to make sure I am approaching it with an attitude of learning, reliance on Him, and obedience to Scripture.
I do ask for your prayers during this time.