By John Sterling Poole
I altogether avoid any news I see on Facebook, email, TV, newspapers and more because I get so depressed and downtrodden with all the bad news in the world. I try to stay up-to-date with current events and critical world affairs, but I get exhausted quickly because I can’t seem to see the good news happening in the world. A lot of folks my age, Gen Z and Millennials, probably feel the same way. We live in an age where bad news gets widely broadcast while good news gets put on the backburner.
I’ve decided to share some good news: the fact that college students all over the state come together to worship God, learn about Christ and live in the Spirit. I’m talking about the good news of Wesley Foundations.
Having recently been appointed as director of the Charleston Wesley Foundation, I realized quickly how folks perceive college students: as partiers, noncommittal, confused, broke (this part is true), entitled and the list goes on.
But I’m seeing a different side of it. I’m seeing Dylan at Charleston Southern having questions about Scripture and wanting a study Bible. I’m seeing Will, Jack, Jesse and Clayton at The Citadel coming together to figure out what worship songs will speak to knobs struggling through their first year. I’m seeing Ella at College of Charleston wanting to become a leader so she can bring others to Wednesday Night Bible Study.
I’m seeing Christ on the move and at work in these young folks. And I’m only seeing what’s happening in Charleston.
The really good news is this is happening at Clemson University, Furman University, Winthrop University, Coastal Carolina University, University of South Carolina, Newberry College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Wofford College, Francis Marion University, Lander University, Piedmont Technical College, Southern Wesleyan University, Tri-County Technical College and all the other campuses I’m forgetting (there are a lot!). God is moving through the Wesley Foundations around the state, and he’s moving through all of the supporters of this ministry.
I know the work that God is doing through the Wesley Foundations because I’m an alumnus. I found my calling in ministry, my passion for outreach, my joy in worship and my peace in friendship at Wesley. I met my best friends; I met my wife. I found my home church, and I found a retreat from the craziness of college life.
College is tough. It always has been, and it always will be. These students have been through a lot these past three years. I, for one, am glad about the work that happens at Wesley Foundations.
So if you are like me and are tired of all the bad news in the world, reach out to the nearest Wesley Foundation. You’ll see the good news of college students learning and living the Gospel of Christ.
Poole is director of the Charleston Wesley Foundation.