Hannah Smith

Like many recent college graduates, Hannah Smith has her sights set on the future. She will begin attending Duke Divinity School in the fall and admits that she is nervous to be starting this new chapter in her life. You see, this soft-spoken young woman grew up in the church as a “PK” (preacher’s kid), but it wasn’t until she began attending Wesley Campus Ministry at UNC Chapel Hill that she truly owned her faith and began her formative faith journey with a community of peers and mentors.

One evening during inspiring worship at Wesley, Hannah felt God’s call on her life loud and clear. In that experience, she gave her entire future to God and prayed for ways to serve. For the next four years, she was nurtured and encouraged in her calling by her campus ministry family. She was encouraged to take leadership roles, and she had access to mentors like her campus minister and Duke Divinity School interns who have helped her through the many spiritual, emotional, and administrative hurdles. Through this formative process, Hannah ultimately made the commitment to enter into training for full-time ministry.

It’s not an accident that Hannah has come to claim her calling during her time on campus. God’s spirit has been working in her life since before birth, and the prayerfully designed experiences in Hannah’s campus ministry have given her a place to claim, grow, and share her faith with others.

This is exactly the environment that The Foundation for Evangelism’s Grants Impacting Young People are intended to nurture. Begun in 2017, the Making Disciples on the College Campus Grant (which Wesley Campus Ministry at UNC Chapel Hill was a recipient of) has born fruit and we have seen positive returns from this partnership. According to campus minister, Rev. Ryan Spurrier:

  • Students like Hannah are answering the call to ministry
  • An outreach beach retreat intended to invite new students and build community has DOUBLED in attendance since last year!
  • Students are asking for training on how they can invite their peers into Christian community, and how they can be a presence for good on campus
  • Students are also requesting opportunities to GROW DEEPER IN THEIR FAITH.

These grants allow The Foundation to be a Catalyst to equip young disciples on college and university campuses to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the more than 1,300 Methodist/Wesleyan collegiate ministries on campuses around the globe could create such a welcoming, nurturing, and challenging environment for students?

If you would like to support ministries impacting young people, consider giving a donation today to help support grants for campus ministries that transform students into disciples who can’t help but serve as Jesus served and share WHY JESUS in every aspect of their lives!

The Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, whose theme this year was “Dare to Reach, Love Boldly”, honored two individuals who have devoted their ministry to reaching their community and young people with the Good News of a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Their stories are excerpts from an article on the Minnesota Annual Conference website.

Dan Ziegler: Dan Ziegler has served as the director of Koronis Ministries since 2016. In just over three years of his leadership, Koronis is poised to reach record for summer attendance in 2019. This continued growth is attributed to Ziegler’s passion for ministry, his creativity in camp programming, and his heart for sharing Christ with children and young people. “This is how Dan is loving boldly: Dan does not simply say, ‘All are welcome at Koronis’ (but they always are); he says, ‘We had you in mind when we created this program…” said Keith Shew, director of camp and retreat ministries for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area. “This ministry is personal to Dan. He commits his whole heart, his whole self, to it—and because of him, hundreds of children, youth, and adults are experiencing Christ, creation, and community in profound ways.”

Rev. Ronald Bell, Jr.: Rev. Ronald Bell. Jr. was appointed to Camphor Memorial UMC in St. Paul last July. In less than one year, average Sunday worship attendance increased by 26 percent. The congregation received 44 new members, celebrated 13 adult professions of faith, and six baptisms. On April 28, Camphor launched a second Sunday worship service to facilitate further growth. A relationship with Jesus, a kingdom mindset, and a commitment to love all people are the lens through which Bell and the church view their ministry. “Because of Rev. Bell’s relational, compassionate, optimistic, and energetic leadership, the people of Camphor church are propelled out as a community of believers to evangelize and make a difference in people’s lives,” said Teresa Neal, Camphor’s Church Council chair.

Board and staff leadership of The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) will engage a select group of innovative Christian leaders in Atlanta, Ga. on January 30-31, 2017 to determine how the FFE may best support evangelistic efforts in the spirit of John Wesley.

“The Evangelism Summit is designed to help The Foundation for Evangelism effectively engage with our key constituencies, which include laity, local church pastors and younger generations, and to determine best practices for evaluating the impact of those partnerships,” said Dr. Larry Klemann, board chair.

The group of 11 United Methodist leaders and Christian innovators, experts who have effective evangelism ministries, were specifically selected for their areas of impact that match the FFE grant focus areas. The FFE identified ministries across the United States where metrics exist to document that lives are being transformed–places where the ideas leaders read about are no longer ideas, but ministry reality.

“We recognize that we are not the practitioners who can answer the key questions. These exceptional leaders can help FFE more clearly understand how evangelism succeeds today, what are needed improvements for the future, and where FFE can invest our grant funds to have the greatest possible impact,” Mrs. Mary Brooke Casad, task force leader and immediate past board chair, said.

“We spent a great deal of time locating ‘next generation leaders.’ We specifically invited folks who are catching the attention of today’s leaders, who in turn say to us, ‘you better keep your eye on that one –God is at work in that ministry!'” Casad said.

Through careful listening and guided discussion during the Evangelism Summit, the FFE leadership expects to inform its ongoing efforts to discern where God is calling The Foundation to engage, provide resources, and encourage efforts to address adaptive challenges in Wesleyan evangelism.

The following individuals/ministries will be participating in the summit:

  • Adolf Hanson, Theologian in Residence, St. Luke’s UMC Indianapolis,
  • Craig Robertson, Founder, Spiritual Leadership, Inc.,
  • Eric Lindh, National Executive Director, Project Transformation,
  • Heather Lear, Director of Evangelism Ministries, Discipleship Ministries of the UMC,
  • Kay Kotan, Founder, You Unlimited,
  • Olu Brown, Lead Pastor, Impact Church;
  • Scott Chrostek, Campus Pastor, RezDowntown, [The UMC of the Resurrection]
  • Tyler Best, Campus Minister, Pfrimmer’s Chapel UMC,
  • Owen Ross, Founding Pastor, Christ Foundry,
  • Rob Peabody, Co-Founder, Awaken,  and
  • Adam Weber, Founding Pastor, Embrace Church.

Headquartered in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the FFE is an international grant-making foundation that promotes, encourages and provides resources to grow Wesleyan evangelism by bringing all people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Of particular interest are ministries impacting young people and the local church.