Someday, and I say this with full confidence, the world will be on the other side of COVID-19. But I have very little confidence of what kind of world will emerge on the other side of COVID-19. How long will it take for the economy to recover? How many people will have lost their jobs or businesses? Will families emerge stronger because of the time together, or will there be more in crisis? Will we have a stronger sense of national unity, or will the partisan divide be even more pronounced and more destructive?
More importantly, what will the Church look like? How many churches will be forced to close their doors forever because of falling donations and their flocks out of work? Will the Church be able to focus outwardly on mission, or will it be myopically focused inward on survival?
Not only should Christians care about these questions, we should want to be part of providing the answers. After all, as St. Paul told the Athenians, God determined that we should be in this time and in this place. He wants, as Paul went on to put it, people to “reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any of us.” If all that’s true, then part of the job of those who have found Him, is to point others to Him and to His restoring work in the world to make all things new.
In this time and this place, Christians should see, both in their faith and in their lives, a call to be part of recovery efforts. If you are sensing that call in your life, especially now, I’d like to invite you to consider studying with me and the Colson Center this year as a Colson Fellow.
Originally created by Chuck Colson, the Colson Fellows program is the leading Christian worldview study program. Colson Fellows spend 10 months in intensive worldview study, but let me be clear: One of the strengths of this program is that you don’t leave the context where God has placed you. You learn from where God has placed you, reading essential books, joining virtual discussions with leading Christian thinkers, interacting online through webinars and discussion forums.
Many fellows join one of the 46 regional cohorts around the country, studying with others who are concerned with what God is doing in their communities. Fellows from an area where there is no regional cohort can join a national online cohort of students, also mentored through their study by someone who has already been commissioned in the program.
Every Colson Fellow, by the way, develops a three-year plan for practical, culture-shaping, Kingdom-advancing work in the real world. In other words, Colson Fellows embark not only on a course of study. They join a movement of Christians committed to what God is doing in the communities and vocational arenas in which they have been placed and called.
Because of changes made over the past few years, the Colson Fellows Program is more accessible and affordable than ever. It’s as if God was preparing the Colson Fellows Program for this post-coronavirus moment, and as if He provided the cutting-edge online learning platform used by the Colson Fellows program for exactly this time.
Colson Fellows join more than 1,500 commissioned fellows across the country, now connected through our alumni association. You’ve probably heard of some of the, dare I say, more famous commissioned fellows who are running organizations, making national headlines, or writing popular books. For example, Jen Oshman recently published the book “Enough about Me: Finding Lasting Joy in the Age of Self” as the result of her three-year Colson Fellows plan. Her blog and podcast also address current cultural issues from a Christian worldview perspective.
Or people like Steve and Margaret Lindsey who experienced a dramatic change in calling because of the program. Together they launched the Center for Faith and Work in Los Angeles to help Christians integrate their faith with their work and to become agents of renewal in L.A.
Every calling is sacred, and we are committed to see Colson Fellows across the breadth and width of these callings, from professors, homemakers, filmmakers, pastors, educators, lawmakers, entrepreneurs, and college students. Recent Colson Fellow Julie Hildebrand said that the program “not only revealed the truth to me, but it also revealed the truth about me. …(it) helped me discover a love of teaching I hadn’t yet discovered.” So Julie is now teaching newly married women at her church and students in leadership at a local Christian academy.
Learn more about the Colson Fellows program at ColsonFellows.org. There you can not only contact us and ask questions, but you can join an informational webinar to learn more about becoming a Colson Fellow.
Become an agent of recovery. Join us.
Ron Elving | NPR | March 18, 2020
Michelle Boorstein | The Washington Post | April 24, 2020
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