Over the course of the year, a huge part of the Nashville Fellows Program is centered around discipleship. As young adults right out of college, we still have so much to learn. What does it look like to have a good theology of money and career, have a healthy work/family balance, give generously until it hurts, and so many other life issues that are not taught in college? Although we still have much to learn, we also have a significant amount we can give. What does it then look like to use the life experience we have had to positively affect others? Great questions.
One example of discipleship within the program is learning from/with our mentors. My mentor this year is Lewis Agnew, a fellow Auburn graduate, who goes to St. George’s Episcopal Church where I have been placed to serve this year. Lewis and I grab lunch every other Friday to go work through many of the issues listed above. Lewis’s wife, Katie, also went to Auburn and is on the Board or “Vestry” as it is called in the Episcopal Church. Lewis and Katie have two young girls and a newborn baby, so you can guess that the Agnew’s are a pretty busy family. Although Lewis is my mentor, I cannot exclude Katie from this blog on discipleship because she also serves on the Jobs committee in a mentor capacity for the Fellows. Regardless of their crazy schedules, both Lewis and Katie have selflessly prioritized their time to pour back into us. I cannot help but reflect on the time I have spent with this family and think about what a beautiful picture of discipleship they model and to strive for this in my own life as well.
With that being said, this example is just one of many that I know all the other Fellows have also experienced. These relationships give us real life, practical examples of people that are living out what we are learning in the classroom this year. They are not just living out Christian values when it is all sunshine and rainbows, but in the hard, everyday grind that life and family can often be.
In our classes we have talked about the reciprocal nature that is necessary of discipleship. The
process cannot stop with my mentor pouring into me, but it instead must be a cycle that I must
pay forward. A second example of discipleship in the program is with us serving in the youth or
children’s ministry at our prospective churches. I have the privilege of working with the youth
group on Wednesdays and teaching a class of 8 th graders on Sundays. I am so thankful for this
opportunity to serve, for these students have humbled and fulfilled me in ways I could not have imagined.
One of the biggest things I have learned this year is the importance and necessity of
intergenerational friendships. I have seen this not only with my mentor but also my host family
and many other adults who are engaged with the program. These relationships have shaped me
and built me up to go into youth group on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings to give back
to the younger generation.