The Fellows Initiative
Justice and Work: Restoring Creation
by Alaina Conley
On an unseasonably warm weekend in November, fellows from all over the country gathered in North Carolina for the 16th TFI National Fellows Conference. TFI has historically held two separate conferences each year – the Micah 6:8 Conference, which explores the application of justice and mercy, and the annual National Fellows Conference which focuses primarily on calling. This year, these conferences were combined into one, culminating in a theme of “The Flourishing of God’s World: A Mandate of Justice, Mercy, and Humility.” Diving deep into these topics was central for both of our keynote speakers, Eric Ha and Dr. Luke Bobo.
Eric Ha is the Chief Administrative Officer of International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization whose goal is to protect people in poverty from violence. Eric currently leads the Global Executive Office and manages the operations of the Global Leadership Team. He has experience working on cases to rescue victims of forced labor slavery and human trafficking. Eric walked us through his journey of God calling him to leave his law firm position in order to begin a career as an advisory counsel with IJM. He spent time illuminating the themes of God hating violence and promoting justice throughout the Bible. He also made it clear that part of our call as Christians is to fight against injustice. Hearing about Eric’s experiences left many fellows feeling that they should become active in this fight. He implored us to draw near to the injustice in the world, whether this is globally or locally, instead of retreating from it.
Dr. Luke Bobo currently serves as Chief Program Officer for Arrabon, a nonprofit organization which works to facilitate healing and reconciliation in Christian communities. Previously, he was the Vice President of Networks at Made to Flourish, a prominent faith and work ministry, and the director of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary. During his talks, Dr. Bobo emphasized the inherent value of work, regardless of how lowly or mundane it may seem. He also addressed some common misconceptions that young people have about their prospective careers. Though many college graduates enter the workforce expecting a straightforward and simple path, Dr. Bobo challenged these perceptions and argued that most vocational journeys are rocky, filled with ups and downs.
Combining the Micah 6:8 and National Fellows Conferences into one event made the connection between justice and vocation readily apparent. God calls us to seek the good of our neighbor by standing up to injustice and by viewing our vocation as part of his restorative plan. Dr. Bobo pointed towards Jeremiah 29:7, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper,” to highlight what God calls us to do in order to promote flourishing.
Many of the Fellows program directors led breakout sessions throughout the weekend. The topics ranged from generosity, ministry, and civil dialogue, to rest, resumes, and squeezing the life out of fellows. When they were not sitting under the instruction of these impressive men and women, the fellows participated in a square dance facilitated by the Raleigh Fellows and enjoyed the friendly competition of an ultimate frisbee tournament which ended in the crowning of the Trinity Fellows as champions. Each night, fellows from different programs joined together to make a joyful noise, using music to unite the entire conference in the worship of our God. In addition to the worship led by the fellows, North Carolina State’s premier gospel choir, Uninhibited Praise, offered their voices for two of the sessions.
There was a visible power in the mission and reach of TFI present amongst the dedicated directors and fellows who care deeply about justice and vocation and God’s good purpose for our work.
Join a TFI Fellows Program
If you are a college senior, recent graduate, or knows someone that is, please apply soon to be a fellow. You can apply to three programs at once with no application fee.
Being a fellow is an amazing way to launch your career after college! As a fellow you will have a paid job in your field of interest. You will take graduate courses in bible, theology, leadership, and cultural engagement. You will have many opportunities to use your gifts serving in the church and city. You will have a personal mentor.
We are now accepting applications all across the TFI network but some programs are beginning to fill up. Please apply as soon as you can! Click here to apply today!
Not sure which program to join? You can learn more about all of the TFI Fellows programs by clicking here.
You can also learn more by joining an upcoming informational webinar.
Consider Advancing TFI's Mission
TFI and the the Fellows Movement has been spreading across the United States for 16 years. There are now 34 TFI Fellows programs and more than 3,000 alumni!
Please consider partnering with TFI financially to help young Christian leaders find their place in the church, workplace, and society and to work toward the flourishing of the world.
With your financial partnership, together we can:
Expand the TFI network to more churches in more cities. Even though we are growing, there are still many areas of the country that do not currently have a TFI Fellows program.
Expand our reach to more young leaders graduating from more colleges and universities. There is room in our network for more young leaders to come and grow in Christ. Your support will help us fill every Fellows class across the country!
If you have been blessed by a TFI Fellows program or simply want to see this Kingdom ministry expand, please consider making a recurring donation or one-time gift to TFI. We have made it easy to give online or by check.
CLICK HERE to donate online. To give by check, please mail it to our NEW ADDRESS:
The Fellows Initiative
8227 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 320
Vienna, Virginia 22182
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