Mentoring Toward Ministry
Thanks to a Young Clergy Initiative grant from the Global Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Lakeview Methodist Conference Center will receive $64,700 over the next four years to expand and strengthen The Andrews Program (TAP). Created in 2012 through a generous gift from Dr. Duane and Patty Andrews of Tyler, TAP seeks to identify and encourage young persons who feel God is "tapping" them to serve. According to Lakeview President Rev. Matt Idom, TAP’s mission is to help assist each student as they discern their specific paths to ministry.
Rev. Patricia Lund, associate pastor at FUMC Athens, is excited to oversee the grant because she felt a nudge toward ministry at Lakeview camp years ago, and has been helping Matt with students and this program since the summer of 2015. “Students that sign up to be in TAP are letting their families, pastors, District Superintendents and Lakeview know they are discerning their next steps,” explains Patricia. “As their call reshapes them, we will be here to answer questions about ordination and connect them to other programs.”
Nicholas Trainer, a member at Wesley Beaumont and a freshman at McNeese State University, is already stretching his ministry leadership muscles. He says, “The thing that excites me most is the TAP program gives all of us a chance to meet other students with the same values. I am already volunteering to lead in new ways at my home church, Wesley Beaumont.”
The TAP grant will also help fund three scholarships for TAP students to attend Texas Youth Academy and help two college students to attend the Texas Annual Conference.
This summer, 83 students signed up for the TAP Program during camps at Lakeview, bringing the total number to 205. These students, under the TAP expansion, will receive birthday cards, and other personalized mail and an invitation to the upcoming TAP retreat in 2018. “I’m excited to send our 30 college students care packages and get them excited about getting mail,” says Patricia.
College aged TAP students also have the opportunity to apply and work at Lakeview as part of summer staff. Katie Gage, a sophomore at John Brown University and from Lanes Chapel UMC, was on staff this summer. “TAP is a great way for young people to connect with others experiencing the same call to ministry,” shares Katie, adding, “I am proud to be a member.”
Caroline Collins, Friendswood UMC, a sophomore at Southwestern University signed up this summer and knows she wants to be an elder. “What excites me the most is learning about the ordination process and those I will meet walking this path of life with me,” she says. “I am currently in the exploring candidacy stage of ordination in the UMC so my next step is attending Candidacy Summit 2017.”
As TAP grows, Lakeview expects to see more pastors for The Texas Annual Conference develop out of the program. “I heard my call to ministry when I was 14 years-old, right here at Lakeview,” Matt shares. “With so many people receiving a call to ministry at camp, I am glad we have a program to help follow up with and encourage young persons on their journeys of discernment. Indeed, Lakeview is the Cradle of the Call.”