By Kara Witherow, Editor
The Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation’s disciple-making efforts got a boost when they were awarded a three year, $30,000 challenge grant from the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. to support their intern program. With the grant about to enter its third and final year, the Wesley Foundation needs to raise the remainder of the $30,000 by December 2012 in order to receive the matching funds.
A ministry of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation’s mission is to minister to students on campus and to further the Kingdom of God. They aim to make disciples of Jesus Christ who live with the resolve to love both God and people and they seek to educate and equip emerging young adults to live lives manifesting both personal and social holiness.
“Interns are crucial in college ministry,” said Wesley Foundation Director Rev. C.J. Harp. “Interns are like having another campus minister who are intentional about making disciples and doing all of the ins and outs of college ministry. Our interns are basically missions staff here at the Wesley Foundation.”
The VSU Wesley Foundation has two full-time interns for the 2011-2012 school year. Lindsey Fuller and James Savage are recent VSU graduates who have a passion for making disciples and creating a culture of discipleship on the Valdosta State University campus.
Fuller and Savage help plan and conduct the ministry’s weekly worship service, help plan and execute retreats and mission trips, help equip the student leadership team for their areas of ministry and minister to students in one-on-one discipleship settings. Fuller also oversees the women’s discipleship efforts within the ministry.
“They’re disciple makers, which is really what we need on college campuses,” Rev. Harp said.
The first year of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation grant was a pure grant, which meant that the VSU Wesley Foundation did not have to raise matching funds in order to receive the money. The following two years matching funds had to be raised.
“The matching grant is really a great thing,” Rev. Harp said. “I appreciate the idea of creating leverage, which is what the matching grant is all about. It helps us raise awareness about the ministry of the Wesley Foundation and ways that churches and others can help.”
Rev. Harp expressed his gratitude for the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation and the work they are doing in South Georgia and on behalf of evangelical Christianity and United Methodism.
“At the end of the day, the grant is helping us have more disciple makers on the college campus, and that’s why we exist and that’s what we’re here for,” he said. “We try to create a culture of discipleship, and that grant has helped make that culture bigger.
“Just the other day we had students randomly walk in off the street and ask if we did any discipleship here, and we said, ‘Yes, yes we do.’ It would not be possible, though, without having more laborers on the college campus. The mission field is great and we need more laborers, and the grant helps provide more laborers and disciple makers on the campus.”
For more information about the ministry of the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation, visit www.vsuwesley.com or email Rev. CJ Harp at email@example.com.