I’ve always liked the beginning of fall. It’s always given me a feeling of expectancy: New school year, new classes, new people, new school supplies. There was something so exciting about a brand new notebook with all the clean pages and new pencils. It just felt like a fresh start, like anything could happen.

But this year I feel a special sense of expectancy and excitement as I take on the very great privilege of being the new Director of the Charlotte Fellows. Our former director Matt Avery left us to take a position with Cedar Springs Church in Knoxville, TN. For the last three years, I’ve served as the Women’s Director and Matt’s assistant, so it’s going to feel very strange not having him around. After all, he was the one with the original vision for the Charlotte Fellows and the one who got us all on board. We’re going to miss him very much (especially me)! He’s left big shoes to fill, but I’m excited for the chance to fill them.

As we head into this season, I’m most excited to see what God is going to do with our new fellows. We have seven fellows (four girls and three guys) this year, and they’re an awesome bunch of kids (or I should say adults). One of the best things about being so close to the fellows is getting a front row seat to see God work and move in their lives. Moreover, I always end up so blessed and challenged by the fellows each year.

I’ve been thinking and praying over the summer about a verse to pray for all of us involved in the program this year. My verse is:

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

Over the course of the year we hope to train and equip the fellows in many areas. But our greatest desire is that they come away with a clear understanding of the gospel. We hope that their desire to be good employees of their company, good citizens of their city, and faithful servants to their church comes from a heart that is dependent on God’s grace every hour of every day. 

It has always been and will continue to be our greatest need. That’s why Martin Luther said, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” The things we do should flow out of a heart that is pure, having a good conscience and a sincere faith (not expecting it to work the other way around—that the good things we do will make our hearts pure and consciences clean).

Will you join me this year in praying this verse for our fellows and for yourself? Pray that God will continue to show us our need for the gospel and his abundant Grace to cover all our weaknesses. Pray also that our actions would flow out of our abiding in Jesus.

I couldn’t think of a better way to start off a new season: expecting God to work and knowing that we get to be a part of it!