At the Kansas City Fellows we emphasize four key areas into which Fellows learn to integrate their faith into: Live, Learn, Work and Serve.
The serve component in particular is multi-faceted. At the KC Fellows we teach that all people should work for the common good of the city and neighborhood they live in. So the Fellows not only serve with a local non-profit, but they live in a community that has historically been a racial and economic dividing line in our city. They daily have the opportunity to work for the common good of a community that has not been the recipient of the common good for far too long.
As we launch into our year with the Fellows we have been introducing them at each of our church’s campuses throughout the city. Christ Community Church (who hosts the KC Fellows) is a multi-site church with 5 campuses throughout Kansas City. We’ve been asking Fellows to be present at church for multiple services to be introduced, to meet people and engage each of the campuses. It’s a great way to meet people in the church and make the Fellows known to the church. But it also makes for a busy weekend.
Last week, we introduced some of the Fellows at our Downtown Campus. With three services, we needed Fellows to be there for the first service at 8:20. At 8:30 two of the Fellows still had not arrived…I was getting nervous…and maybe a bit frustrated that they couldn’t be on time for something as important as this.
And then one of the Fellows gave me more details on why they were late.
They were driving to the Downtown Campus when they saw a city bus drive right by a bus stop in their neighborhood. A woman, in her work uniform, waved frantically running after the bus. The bus was behind schedule and decided to skip the stop to make up time, meaning this woman was going to be late to work. Our two Fellows, knowing they needed to be at the Downtown Campus at 8:20 for an 8:30 service, decided to risk being late to offer this woman a ride to work.
We start the Fellows year by reading the book “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In his chapter titled “Ministry”, Bonhoeffer describes the ministry of helpfulness in this way: “It is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.” (99). Those two Fellows saw God interrupt their schedule so they could be of service to their neighbor and meet a simple but important need.
They got to church after the service had started, but just as I started to introduce the Fellows. Needless to say I took the opportunity to “throw them under the bus” and share how they actively sought the common good for the glory of God’s kingdom. It was convicting, empowering and encouraging.
It will be exciting to see how the Fellows love, care for and transform the neighborhood they live in for the common good in the coming weeks, months and years.