Theo Shepard is a former Charlotte Fellow, class of 2015. Theo currently lives in Charlotte, NC and works for Boosterthon, a national elementary school fundraiser.
We were told that "Roundtable" was just a weekly dinner where a different person from the Charlotte community would come and share their story of faith. We should have braced ourselves for something more powerful.
Roundtable was easily my favorite night of every week for a number of reasons. It was an opportunity to learn and grow in a number of ways. We got to hear how different Christians lived out their faith in and through a variety of occupations. It was a chance to see life from someone else's view. Most importantly, it was another opportunity to realize the world doesn't revolve around me.
On that note, I knew I was in the right place when on the very first night, the chairman of the board for the Charlotte Fellows said, "Let's pray together for sin to be revealed, and the grace that covers it." I almost shouted "YES!" at the top of my lungs. But that's what the Fellows program was about: helping us realize that nothing is about us—it's all about Him.
Roundtables were such a blessing because we were invited every week to the Linsz' house for dinner and fellowship with the speaker. They would open their house for over two hours every Thursday, and the food was always delicious.
It normally started by hearing about the speaker's past before they dove straight into their topic of choice. It wasn't necessarily a dark topic they were discussing. It was a real one. It was something personal, something deep. They would offer insights into how a believer could or should live. They didn't lay down the law or give us a list of rules. They opened their hearts to us.
Sometimes there were tears, but it was never uncomfortable. I knew they were telling the truth. They were sharing their heart in a way that usually only happens after you've known someone for a long time. Such depth and vulnerability are rare for someone you've known for less than an hour.
One topic that came up frequently was marriage. This was especially interesting to me, considering how much I struggle with being single and fear divorce. The inevitable problems like communication were touched on, but it always went much deeper than that. The speakers talked about how marriage shows us our own selfishness and seeks to make us more selfless.
They helped me see that I shouldn't be scared of marriage because of how selfish I am or how hard it is. Instead, I should open my eyes to how God is working on me even now in my singleness.
In the end, Roundtable helped me to see that it's all about God and what he's doing in the world. And thankfully, by his grace, he is always at work redeeming us and bringing us back to himself.