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It's Not All About Me

By Spencer Burress

“I am preoccupied with my own thoughts, feelings, or agenda when I interact with most people.”

Would this describe you? 

Last week in Dr. Bill Clark’s class, the Capital Fellows took a relational skills evaluation where we graded ourselves on how well we relate to others. The evaluation as a whole was eye-opening for me, but the above question in particular wrecked me. If there was a test on being present with people and setting my own interests aside to listen to them, let’s just say I wouldn’t get an A. Or a B, or even a C...

Dr. Clark's class last week helped me realize that this hasn’t always been the case for me. I actually did great in this department at the kickoff of college because it was the first time I had to learn how to intentionally invest in others. The same goes for when I worked as a summer camp counselor, whose literal job was to consider others before myself. But somewhere along the way, I suppose I encountered a few, too many shallow conversations or grew exhausted socially, and I fell off. I gradually learned to tune out others and ignore their thoughts and feelings because it was less burdensome on Number 1. Unfortunately, traces of this selfish indifference have followed me to Fellows.

I thank God then that He would confront me with the evaluation we did in class. Just when I thought I was done learning things in Fellows, God revealed perhaps the most important lesson I could have learned, right at the buzzer: it’s not all about me. 

In His grace, God is using the tail-end of this Fellows year to remind me that for Him, it’s always been about relationship. His mission in redeeming Creation, at its heart, is about reconciling wayward sinners to himself and one another. God cares deeply about knowing us, and that we sincerely seek to know him and others. Truly knowing others is impossible without setting aside our own agenda for a moment to be present with them, in love. I’m still working on that, and by God’s grace, I’m getting better.

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others." — Philippians 2:3-4


Spencer Burress is a member of the Capital Fellows class of 2024-25. He is from San Clemente, CA, and is a graduate of Baylor University. This year, he is working as an ecclesial fellow in the Missions ministry at McLean Presbyterian Church.


Pictures From The Week

Some Fellows heckling Jacob's sermon.

The Fellows meeting Porter's Gate worship artist (and Judah's American Idol), Paul Zach.

We found a cool tree!

"The Jack and the Furious"


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

If you know a college senior or recent graduate who should consider joining the Capital Fellows program in 2024-25, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is through our Contact Us Form. You can learn more about the program, including application deadlines, by visiting the Capital Fellows website.

About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring, and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.


Pray for the Capital Fellows

Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!

All semester, the Capital Fellows have been digging into deep aspects of their stories in Dr. Bill Clark’s class. Questions like: Who am I? Where am I from? How do I make sense of my story in the larger story of the Gospel and the world? These can be hard things to process. Please pray that they will find themselves deeply rooted in Christ and in the community of His people, the Church as they explore these tender areas together and wrap up their class with Dr. Clark this week.

Want to pray for the current Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
Download PDF • 1.18MB


About The Fellows Initiative

Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.

If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.


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