FROM THE DESK OF MITCH BARNHART
UK ATHLETICS DIRECTOR
Dear CSF Friend,
As the Athletics Director at the University of Kentucky, I’m constantly surrounded by college students. And in 34 years of college athletics, the baggage and hurt that so many of our students drag with them to college has never been greater than it is today. That may or may not surprise you. But I also want you to know that there’s hope. I see it firsthand through the 700+ UK students eagerly meeting together every week at Christian Student Fellowship.
My wife and I are deeply committed to our faith in Christ. We think Jesus can provide hope and purpose for everyone in this world. And we want everyone- especially college students- to know about it. In all our years on college campuses around the country, we’ve never seen a ministry like Christian Student Fellowship at the University of Kentucky. About a year ago, Connie and I made a commitment to get heavily involved with CSF. Let me tell you why.
Why We Got Involved
Overseeing the University of Kentucky’s sports programs is a fun job.Yet you can probably guess that it demands plenty of time and energy too. So when we jumped in with CSF we weren’t just looking for things to fill up our calendar.
We’ve seen the incredible way that CSF impacts students’ lives firsthand, and it fired us up to get in the game. I remember when one of our gymnasts, Storey Morris, started going to CSF. Though Storey was far from her home in Texas, she found a great place to belong in CSF. Soon she invited another girl on the team to go with her. And then another. And before we knew it, nearly half of the UK gymnastics team was at CSF on Thursday nights, worshipping God together.
I’d never seen anything quite like it on a college campus. The gospel, spreading like wildfire from student to student. And not just with athletes. Hundreds of students from every corner of campus call CSF home too. CSF isn’t just the biggest Christian group on campus, it’s the biggest student group of any kind at UK. Here’s another fact that might surprise you. There are more students actively involved in CSF than on every UK sports team combined.
In case you haven’t seen it firsthand, Connie and I can tell you how exciting it is to see the building literally overflowing with students on Thursday nights. Connie invests in the lives of girls as she helps to lead a girls bible study each week. I work weekly alongside CSF’s leadership team to recruit funding for the ministry. Connie and I couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead for our campus.
UK Teams Can’t Win Alone. Neither Can CSF.
You probably know that at UK we spend millions of dollars every year to provide the very best resources for our athletics teams to compete and thrive. But it’s not just equipment and training facilities that make UK athletics so strong– it’s the fans. Our student athletes know that the Big Blue Nation stands strong behind them. UK athletics wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our fans.
And it’s no different with CSF. The staff and student leaders strive day in and day out to reach students in any way they can. But they can’t do it alone. They need the support of people standing behind them. Praying. Giving financially. People like you and me who can make a difference in the lives of students simply by sharing our financial resources. That’s a win we can all celebrate!
Connie and I have made supporting CSF a substantial part of our giving. We hope you’ll do the same. Consider what your gift can do:
- $98.62 – A gift at this level provides for two students to worship with hundreds of other students at Winter Retreat.
- $262.84 – A gift at this level covers the cost of one weekly worship service attended by over 500 students.
- $1,057.47 – A gift at this level enables CSF to throw an on-campus outreach event that can impact 1,000+ students.
- $3,531.68 – A gift at this level funds an entire semester for CSF’s freshman ministry outreach, Shift.