Wesley Foundation students challenged to tranform the world


Imagine what’s next for your life, for the church and for the world.  College students from across the nation pondered these questions from their hearts at the Imagine What’s Next conference in St. Louis last month. The discernment weekend was sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. 

Forty-nine college students and 11 campus ministers from the North and South Georgia conferences represented about 10 percent of the 550-plus people in attendance. Students from the following Wesley Foundations and United Methodist Colleges and Universities participated in the weekend event: Augusta State, Kennesaw State, Mercer, University of Georgia, West Georgia, Emory, Oxford, Paine, Reinhardt and Young Harris. 
The conference featured visionary leaders in the United Methodist Church.  The “meat” of the conference came from fellow college students who shared some innovative, life-changing ministries on their campuses.  Hearing their stories inspired and challenged other students to dream about what they could do on their respective campuses.  

Bishop Sally Dyck, from the Chicago Annual Conference, concluded the conference on Sunday morning with a charge. She passionately spoke about the importance of purpose.  She stressed that we need to pay attention to the sign posts in our lives to guide our way.  
Sign posts can be, but aren’t limited to: scripture, sermons, Bible studies, mission trips, mentors and our peers.  She stressed the importance of living out our faith in community.  She said that on the road in life, we need to merge in with others as we all navigate the road following our signposts to a life of purpose.
The Church and the world need this next generation to dream of a Church that continues to transform the world so that it may reflect more of heaven and less of earth.  Imagine what’s next.      
Leigh Martin serves as chaplain of Reinhardt University in Waleska.