All Saints Fellows Program
So, All Saints has a Fellows Program. “We do?” you might ask. Others of you may have known that fact, but are more interested in remarking “What does it do?” Well, allow me to explain what the Fellows Program entails, and what we as Fellows do. Here is what we started with:
The goals of the Fellows Program are as follows:
• To lay a biblical-theological foundation through the study of God’s Word, and to equip men and women to see the world through that lens.
• To foster a better understanding of the local church through participation in church ministry.
• To explore vocation or calling, with a focus on the relationship between gifting, desire, and opportunity.
• To further nurture each Fellow’s relationship with the Lord Jesus through worship, community life, and cultural engagement.
• To more fully embrace the lived nature of the gospel.
The work of a Fellow is as follows:
• Each Fellow serves in
one or more ministries at All Saints, based on his or her gifts,
desires and the needs at hand. Thus, Fellows garner meaningful
ministry experience, allowing each one to hone his or her area of
expertise while being stretched in new ministerial fields.
• Each Fellow serves the Church and the City of Austin at large, while maintaining a global perspective.
• Each Fellow will learn to see and express God’s truth as such is manifested in various areas of the culture at large.
These talking points, however, are a bit dry and general. So, to be
more specific and put some flesh on these boney bullet points, let me
continue. The Fellows Program, so far, is made up of three Fellows:
David and Rachel Breeding, and myself. We each serve in different
capacities of the church. Rachel is serving at the Hill House while
learning more specifically how to minister through hospitality. David
is working in the church office, both coordinating the finances of the
church with a focus on learning how to serve the church through
administration and its missional purpose. I have been working with the
students of our church while learning more carefully how to teach the
good news of Christ and slowly learning what it looks like to pastor.
Our learning has not been restricted to our jobs, but is in fact
well complemented with Biblical and theological studies with Greg
Grooms, director of the Fellows Program. We are reading through the
Bible on a nine-month plan, and have made it to Deuteronomy so far. In
addition to gaining an overview of scripture, we are currently reading
through Os Guinness’ The Call, a book that explains the idea of
calling. In the book, he says that “calling is the truth that God
calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we
do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and
dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.”
It is incredibly tempting in our culture to relegate calling to
more pious endeavors such as ministry or define it too narrowly as our
“job.” But, because the Bible affirms what Abraham Kuyper says is
true, that “there is not one square inch of the entire creation about
which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine! This belongs to
me!’,” we are able to freely use our gifts as God has intended us. So,
Guinness says that “God does call us to ‘be ourselves’ and ‘do what we
are.’ But we are only truly ‘ourselves’ and can only truly ‘do what we
are’ when we follow God’s call.”
So, with that wisdom in mind, the Fellows are continuing to work in
our areas of ministry, and learning through experience and study. Our
prayer is that the Lord will use our gifts to benefit All Saints and
His global Church.