Breaking the Fourth Wall

Updated: Nov 17

By Emma Jones



I did a lot of musical theatre in high school where I heard a lot about not “breaking the fourth wall,” the wall between yourself and the audience, that is. Many years later, I’ve realized that we have a much harder time pushing ourselves TO break the fourth wall. We love performing whether it’s conscious or not — showing off the aspects of ourselves we want to be seen and hiding when we get too close to being discovered, and it's easy to live this way our entire lives. 


That is one of the main reasons I pursued the Fellows program. In many ways, this entire year is about breaking the fourth wall. Heck, we live with families who have basically volunteered to break it by inviting strangers to live in their homes. We work to take off the mask (only partial pun intended) with our coworkers, bosses, professors, and directors by communicating our expectations and strengths in their respective arenas. Fourteen of us spend the entire year pursuing one another in friendship and breaking the walls lying between us. Perhaps equally important, this year is heavily self-reflective and brings us to break the fourth wall within ourselves — to ask ourselves hard questions, dive into our motivations and strengths, and think about where our purpose lies. 


Romans 12 contains one of the most freeing, life-giving passages in the Bible. It's only fitting that it was included in our Fellows contract. Above all, this chapter instructs us to “let love be genuine”. Like the genuine love we are promised in Christ, a genuine love with each other does not lend itself to hiding or only presenting our “prettiest” self. It also doesn’t allow for walking away when we become difficult to love. We’re in it for the long haul, so this is what we’ve been after for the last month and a half. Amidst the classes and jobs and families and COVID restrictions, we’ve been spending time learning about each other, trying to care for our new friends, working to share in joys and burdens alike (messing it up sometimes), etc. 


As we do this, I think it's been important to realize that breaking the fourth wall doesn’t always look like sitting down and having deep, intense conversations about each other. Sometimes genuine love looks like being together to have authentic, lighthearted FUN! While there have been plenty of enlightening, complicated discussions, there have been equally bonding breakfast picnics, class breaks, top golf games, and camping trips. I don’t know about them, but I’m excited for all the learning and deepening friendships that are yet to come.




Pictures from the Week





Some of the guys experiencing genuine love via Topgolf




Pre-class breakfast picnic including homemade breakfast sandwiches by our own Sam Trizza! 




One of the fellows got engaged in October!! Big congrats to Jenny and Seth!




Become A Capital Fellow in 2021-22


We are now receiving applications for Season 15 of the Capital Fellows program!


The next program year runs from late August 2021 through mid-May 2022. If you are a college senior or recent college graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you! The Early Application Deadline is November 30th!


Click here for the Capital Fellows program application.


Pray for the Capital Fellows


Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week! In the coming days and weeks, the Capital Fellows will be, among other things, working on the topic of servanthood. As followers of Christ, we are called to be servants as he was a servant. We are called to have a radically transformed mind about what our lives, careers, wealth, and power are all about. Please pray that during the fellows year, they will establish the foundations for a lifetime of seeing and serving into the needs around them.


Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.


Capital Fellows Class Brochure - 5x11
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Benefits of The Fellows Initiative


You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 30 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. But, did you know that the sponsors of TFI offer great benefits to Capital Fellows alumni? For example, Reformed Theological Seminary offers a 33% tuition discount for 5 years. You can learn more about TFI's sponsors by clicking here.


If you know of a graduate school, seminary, employer, or other organization that would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact TFI by clicking here. Thanks!



Want To Read More?


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McLean Presbyterian Church  |  1020 Balls Hill Road  |  McLean, Virginia 22101  |  Email: fellows@mcleanpres.org

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