After a road trip from Georgia, Class 18 arrived in our nation’s capital, Washington DC. During our time there, we visited several monuments, toured the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, heard from a senator, and got into spiritual conversations. We frequently discussed what it means to have influence and how to use that influence for the Kingdom of God.

During our nine months as Fellows, we have learned that Kingdom influence is living in a way that points others to Jesus. Everyone has influence, good and bad. As Christians, we should use our influence to effect change and to draw people’s hearts to the gospel.

The first night in DC we went to Capitol Hall to hear Senator James Lankford speak. He was a compelling speaker who did not shy away from the fact that he is a Christian working in the Senate. He spoke boldly about his political views and how his faith affects every decision he makes at home, at work, and with everyone he meets. We learned that Kingdom influence means loving and respecting those with different views while not backing down from speaking the truth.

We got to see firsthand how culture has shifted from the Christian morals the United States was founded on. The culture in the United States today is vastly more secular than it was even fifty years ago and continues to head in that direction. Even in the midst of such a political city like DC, we got to encounter Christians being faithful to Jesus’ call on their lives.

On our last day, we were able to practice having Kingdom influence when we went out around the National Mall to get into spiritual conversations. Many people did not want to engage with us, and several Fellows had difficult conversations. However, we were able to step out in faith and trust that God goes before every conversation and the results are up to Him alone. Although some of the conversations were challenging, we met other Christians and were able to spend time praying for one another and encouraging each other to continue walking in faith.

Leaving DC, our class felt encouraged and empowered by seeing people with great political influence living their lives fully surrendered to Jesus. Although culture is drifting from God, we were moved to see other Christians remaining faithful and loving as Jesus did. If nothing else, we learned that Kingdom influence starts with putting God first, and once Jesus is our main priority, our faith will change the way we live every aspect of our lives.

Clemmie Kimmel
London, UK