RUF Intern - An unglamorous job doing profound kingdom work

Conrad Quiros  |  October 30, 2014

I never wanted to be an intern. Even the word sounded lame, essentially minor, like being cast primary understudy in the school play. The synonyms of “intern” rang in my head: “unpaid,” “temporary,” “unspectacular,” “errand boy.” Simply, I had higher expectations.

In one Gospel account of Jesus sending out His disciples, Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command... I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you... I chose you and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.” (John 15:14-16)

The only insight I have to offer is that of my personal experience. Slowly, my view on the RUF internship began to change. The intern at my school convinced me through his consistent labor and silent dedication that this could be a profoundly serious and important job. The other options I was considering seemed woefully unfulfilling in comparison. My best friend dramatically converted to faith in Jesus my senior year in college and told me point-blank he believed I should do the internship. As I walked the winding road of considering, then strongly considering, then applying and interviewing and deciding about the internship, I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s peace that this was what He wanted for me.

Now, I read the Bible for a living. I sit across from students and hold the weight of their most constitutive experiences and most visceral questions in the palms of my empty hands. I talk of Jesus and the sweetness of His love and mercy and grace, not just for mankind but for the very men and women with whom I’m speaking. It’s amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a hard job. You absolutely will be confronted with the depth of your sin and brokenness and vain idols in this line of work. You can’t experience the freedom and joy of flying without the intense violence that happens as the wheels of the plane are ripped from the ground. In time, I think you’ll grow to appreciate even that.

There are a myriad reasons why you should consider the internship. Those were a few of mine. And there are many more for deciding not to do it. If I were to attempt to list the benefits I’ve received as a result of my choice to follow Jesus as an RUF intern, I’d need reams. But I think it all boils down to this: do you yearn to see students’ hearts and lives eternally transformed by the Gospel of Grace in the person of Jesus Christ? Because, as an intern, you will. He is doing that, on each of these campuses across the nation. Do you want to witness God at work firsthand? If so, He may be calling you, not to be first understudy but to sit front row center. That’s what I do every day. More than often, it’s my life being transformed before my eyes as well.

Here’s the more lived-in truth: if I believe in the Gospel, it is better by far for me to be the least errand boy in the kingdom of God than the most magnificent monarch the world has ever seen. By His grace, in this beautiful job and life, I am learning to believe and trust that truth. I am so much less magnificent at this point in my life than I hoped I’d be, but it is so much more than I’d dreamed. 

What is life as a RUF Intern really like? from RUF Videos on Vimeo.

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