How the Internship equipped me to accomplish the Great Commission
Written by Zachary Douthit
My name is Zachary Douthit. I am from Orange County, Virginia. It was some time ago when I was reading through the book of Matthew and stumbled upon the Great Commission “And Jesus spoke to them, saying “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age”(vs.18-20). After reading this passage I figured I should do this sometime. I then booted up a video game and played it. However, the notion remained floating around in the back of my mind.
I went on a few disaster relief and rebuilding trips with Samaritans Purse when I realized I had a strong desire to serve others and my desire to fulfill the Great Commission grew stronger. I didn’t feel like I had the tools to do so. My knowledge of the Bible was lacking and on top of that, I didn’t feel like I was understanding the Bible. Despite attending many hours of Sunday school and sermons. The Internship is doing an excellent job in equipping me to accomplish the Great Commission through the classes they teach, experiences I had, gaining new skills, and improving the ones I already have.
I had read the Bible sporadically and there were many gaps in my knowledge of the Bible. I also had no clue about the rich history surrounding the Bible and its authors. The survey of the Old and New Testaments filled in gaps in my knowledge of the Bible. Having a general knowledge of the Bible helps a lot when I want to focus on a particular topic for my devotions or for teaching others. It doesn’t apply to only what’s in the Bible. There is a lot of background information that isn’t in the Bible that gives context to what is in it. For example, the four gospels were written for specific audiences and the way they were written reflects that. Also, because the authors of the gospels were writing for specific purposes as well. Knowing the background behind different parts of the Bible makes it more interesting and alive.
When I was reading the Bible, I feel like I was getting little or nothing at all out of reading it. There is a class on interpreting the Bible and for the first few weeks, we came together each evening and dug into Colossians. Going through Colossians brought up questions about other parts of the Bible, so we went and examined those as well. We also had a class on the interpretation which broke down how to observe, analyze and interpret the Bible. Those things along with doing regular devotions (before the Internship my devotions weren’t so regular) the result is reading the Bible and understanding what it is saying.
An unexpected result of the interpreting the Bible class and the group devotions was being better equipped to teach the Bible. One week we were given the task to prepare a small group lesson. It was only for us, but I had little time to prepare, and I was nervous about doing it. I was doing my devotions in Habakkuk at that time, and I decided to do my lesson on that book. It took a day to prepare the lesson and before I gave it, I prayed to God to speak through me. Any nervousness I had melted away. I taught the lesson, and it went well. The experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me rely on God to teach the lesson well. I didn’t think I would like teaching but having done it I found that I enjoyed teaching and I would like to do it more.
The classes expanded my toolbox to accomplish the Great Commission with new knowledge, but the day-to-day experiences did as well. One of the Internships’ core values is flexibility and for good reason. There never is any guarantee of what is going to happen. Several times we had surprise trips to other camps, and it was at those times I had my flexibility tested and expanded. The situations put me in a place where the only thing I could do was jump in and do the best at whatever I was doing.
Other times things like rain or the van breaking down (which happened more than once) would alter what we could do on a particular day. It was then when I had to become flexible to handle the situations. I know that things may not go according to plan, or some things may happen that are outside my control and because I’ve had past experiences where the only thing I can do is pray I know I will be able to handle whatever comes my way. It has now become my expectation when I am going into a situation that something might change, and I will have to adapt to it. We are doing an overseas mission trip in August. The current environment almost guarantees something will change in the process of getting there or coming back. Also, there’s no telling what sort of things I’ll be doing there. All I can do is pray to God to be a tool in his hands to spread the Gospel wherever I go.
Reflecting back on it, everything fits together in the internship The new skills I learned like interpreting and teaching the Bible will help me accomplish the Great Commission. I’m glad that the Internship is pushing me out of my comfort zone. I am only six months in and feel I have been stretched because of experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Whenever things change unexpectedly, when I’m going somewhere new or, doing something new I know I’ll be able to handle them because of the Internship.
Zachary is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE