• The Fellows Initiative

Come & See: Getting Ready to Launch

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

by Evan Norfleet

Earlier this week, The Fellows Initiative welcomed church leaders from across the country at the semi-annual TFI Come & See, a comprehensive two-day training program for churches interested in starting new fellows programs. Each of the leaders came with a common purpose: to impact the millennial generation in their churches. Among the attendees were lifelong campus ministry leaders from Florida, an associate pastor from Mississippi, and lay leaders from Coastal Carolina. Each of them came to explore the possibility of starting a new fellows program in their church and city.

Led by experienced fellows program directors, the training program explained the model and structure of a fellows program, approaches to teaching and discipleship, internship and housing strategies, staffing, recruitment, financials, and many other aspects of launching and running a fellows program. The sessions also included testimonials from current and former fellows that provided further insight into the fellows experience.

Growing the Fellows Network

Starting in the fall of 2019, there will be at least twenty-seven programs in the TFI fellows network and more than 250 fellows. With more than 1,700 alumni, TFI has become a significant movement within the church for equipping and inspiring young adults for lives of servant leadership in the marketplace, church and society.

John Kyle, Executive Director of TFI, leading one of the sessions at the TFI Come & See training program

“TFI is growing because pastors and lay leaders across the country want to impact emerging leaders in the millennial generation,” said John Kyle, executive director of TFI, “The TFI Come & See training program is the best way to help pastors and church leaders work through the process of launch preparation.”

TFI is growing in all areas of the country, but is especially interested in cities and regions that do not currently have many fellows programs, including the Northeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and Pacific West.

An Invaluable Resource

Over the last thirteen years, TFI has helped many churches experience the benefits of launching fellows programs. During that time, TFI has found the Come & See to be an essential step toward program sustainability and long term success.

Jay McCabe and Ross Byrd, Co-Directors of the Virginia Beach Fellows attended the TFI Come & See in 2018. “We found the TFI Come & See to be very helpful for better understanding the fellows concept and how it is being applied in a variety of cities and contexts.  We also loved meeting current directors as well as the leadership of prospective programs," they said. "The connections we made have been invaluable as we’ve built our program this year, and we expect they will be for years to come. The TFI leadership did an excellent job of leading the time and making it worth our while!  We highly recommend it to anyone else considering a fellows program for their church or area.”