It became who we are

It’s honestly quite funny, the reactions that some people can give when they ask about the details of my summer as an intern with BigStuf.  The fact that a college student would “give up” an entire summer to fundraise and volunteer to work at a camp, is seemingly impossible for many to begin to understand.  I strategically placed “give up” within quotations due to the fact that any and all of what some might see as giving, I can whole hearted say that I received more than my wildest of daydreams.  

At the beginning of the summer, sweet sweet Jesus began to teach me about seeking out what it looked like to live in the freedom we have access to, in Christ.  As I began to wrestle with how this would play out and be applicable in everyday life, He was kind enough to lead me to a verse that shaped much of how I would look at serving during the summer.  In Galatians 5:13, Paul states that,

For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, BUT SERVE one another through love.  

Just as my summer serving with BigStuf might seem contradictory to the “norm” for many, typically, the thoughts that follow freedom are nowhere near being a servant.  Yet, while this thought of servanthood working hand-in-hand with freedom is a countercultural mindset, it is certainly what we are called to embrace.  One of the main factors that drew me to working as an intern at BigStuf was the element of service, which is so heavily saturated in the culture created within the BigStuf family. 

As an Intern, I was launched into the summer with a plethora of opportunities to serve within the many job areas we were able to work in.  Whether it was a production job (cameras, speaker notes, worship lyrics, backstage) or interaction with students and leaders during our rec-time jobs (refereeing volleyball and basketball, in the game room, making sure the campers stayed hydrated while on water duty, and getting those rad daily video clips), we were given the opportunity to constantly serve.  However, even outside of our jobs, I am honored to say that I was on a team of some of the spunkiest go-getters and with the biggest hearts, who were always looking for ways to embrace one of my favorite BigStuf values – to go beyond.  As a crew, we began to embrace a mantra, shared with us by a fearless leader that I believe began a radical shift in our mindset, in so much of how we looked at serving: “Make sure to serve with your heart and not just your hands.”  Serving became more than just what we did – it became what and who we are. 

I once heard a speaker share that “Your walk talks, and your talk talks, BUT your walk talks louder than your talk talks”.   I am grateful to say that I have had the opportunity to do life all summer alongside people whose walks quite literally screams, the love of King Jesus, with every ounce of their being.  As believers, we are to live lives that are heavily marked and saturated with humble service, not asking to elevate our names, but in our actions being rooted in love, simply seeking out, to make the name of Jesus famous.  Jesus lived a life that was fully saturated in the humility of servanthood, as a blueprint for how the lives we, as believers, should earnestly strive for the desire to embrace servanthood.  

A summer spent serving as a BigStuf Intern is one that is extremely difficult to do justice by putting it into mere words.  For anyone even considering submitting an application for a summer that will turn your world upside down, in the best way possible, I have one piece of advice for you – APPLY!!!  As we learned this summer, God has and will continue to gather the most beautifully-broken people, to make a team that will have a part in changing so many lives and inspiriting student to live lives radically transformed by the Gospel.  The 2017 interns are nowhere near perfect, but we were used by our Perfect Father during our summer working with BigStuf.  So, want to have a rocking summer serving with the best people, for the greatest purpose?  Or see just how a diversity of strengths and abilities are crucial when serving in the Body of Christ?  Apply for the internship today!  You won’t regret it! 

With love,

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Katelyn Nicols

Katelyn Nicols

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