The room is set-up with round tables and surrounded in slate chalkboards. A teacher’s desk is against the wall in the corner. With the building being an old elementary school, the room looks like a combination of a business style boardroom and a traditional classroom.
It’s a casual setting that feels immediately relaxed when Dishon and Jordan Kamwesa, the husband and wife duo leading the evening, come walking in laughing and carrying a hot fudge sundae.
The Kamwesa’s have been active in the 44707 community for ten years. Over the last decade, they have lived on 3rd Street SE, worked for Lighthouse Ministries in their after-school program, been youth leaders within LoveCanton Church, led youth within The Martin Center, participated in The Martin Leagues, been co-planters of 3rd Street Community Church, and now Dishon serves as the Associate Pastor of 3rd Street and Jordan drives the curriculum and leadership of What’s Next and serves in many unofficial but deeply needed capacities.
The Kamwesa’s both work outside their roles at 3rd Street. Dishon is a nurse practitioner with Mercy Medical and Jordan is a counselor with Encompass Christian Counseling. Their roles within 3rd Street are volunteered from their own passions and desires to serve God and the church.
“Before we can answer what’s next, we need to look at what lens we are viewing our lives through,” Dishon explains.
“When we widen our lens from being me-focused, we get a bigger view of the Kingdom,” Jordan adds.
The dynamic of the two of them building on each other’s words while teaching shows how familiar they are with the material they’re teaching. They haven’t just developed curriculum; they have lived the principles they’re discussing and teach from the overflow of their lives dedicated to God, the Church, and their family.
The Kamwesas encourage all in attendance to not just listen to teaching, but to take notes and to discuss what’s challenging us. Each of us is given a paper walking us through the night’s Scripture focus, as well as questions to be discussed at our tables.
“We don’t have all the answers. Take a few moments to read the questions and process at your tables,” Jordan instructs. “Just be honest and share what you’re processing. The person sitting on the other side of you might have the piece of the puzzle you’re looking for.”
They lead with authenticity and humility. Whether it’s Dishon joking about how Jordan repeatedly turned him down when they were in college, or Jordan challenging us to reflect on if our actions at home and work reflect Jesus to those around us, their postures and confidence in God draw those present to listen.
What’s Next will continue to gather at The Martin Center every Wednesday from 6:30-8PM through October 16. The course runs rotationally on Wednesdays twice each year. The Kamwesas welcome anyone to attend, no matter your church affiliation or if you’ve been pursuing Jesus for a day or a decade. There’s a seat for you at the table.