By Stephen LaGue, Project Superintendent for Straub Construction
From September 2017 to May of 2018, I had the privilege and joy of learning, growing, living, and working with a wonderful group of eight other young professionals. We challenged each other as we learned practical steps to stitching faith into all areas of our lives.
The Kansas City Fellows Program is a 9-month leadership, professional, and spiritual development program for recent college graduates. Kansas City Fellows is a branch of The Fellows Initiative, a national organization that pairs with businesses and churches in over 20 cities across the US.
As I approached graduation from the Construction Management Program at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, I was encouraged to look into the Fellowship program in my home town of Kansas City. It seemed like a great fit for where I was at in life, and I soon found that this couldn’t have been more true.
The nine of us fellows were paired with different kinds of employers where we spent four days a week honing our talents and passions while being regularly challenged with the new and unfamiliar. We were also paired up with consistent and meaningful mentorship opportunities from established professionals in our field of study.
The Kansas City Fellows organization is headed up by a leadership team that is consistently brilliant, thought provoking, competent, generous, and loving. Twice a week we met for discussions that were as challenging and robust as they were heartfelt and encouraging. For most of our discussions, we had the privilege of a new perspective in the form of guest leaders. We learned about the intersection of faith and work from over 30 different professionals coming from almost as many industries and lines of work.
I believe the Kansas City Fellowship will not stop having an impact on who I am.
I find myself unable to fully express my gratitude for the opportunity to think so intentionally through what I believe and how that lines up so practically with the way I work, live, and play. In the past year, I’ve learned that the God of the Bible designed us not only for worship and relationship with Him, but also for our work and for our place in the community. Whatever piece you play in the massive jigsaw puzzle that is human existence, it has beautiful and inimitable meaning. Seeing yourself as a designed and thought out part of the big story of life provides so much freedom for flourishing in work and relationships.
If you know someone who is approaching, or in the midst of, that challenging transition from student to professional, encourage them to apply to a Fellowship in whatever city interests them. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I would like to thank my mentor Mike Barr. I’ve been sharpened and encouraged by my time with you. Thank you to Christ Community Church for being a loving family and discipling me so well. And most of all, I want to offer thanks to Kris, Kevin, Carol and to my eight classmates for an unforgettable and life-changing year.