Don't let the title deceive you - this article from Matt Banks, our newly-minted student minister, is for all of us in the month that most of our students return to London...
“I had no idea that Easter had anything to do with Jesus” is what one of my friends who is currently an undergraduate at Nottingham University was told when he tried to speak to one of his fellow students about Jesus earlier this year. That the girl in question was English and yet had managed to get all the way to the age of 18 without knowing this seems staggering. Yet perhaps this shows why it’s vital that we equip Christian students whom the Lord brings to our church family to live distinctive lives for him during their time at university. There are students in our capital city who desperately need to hear the good news about Jesus – and the witness of one our CCM students might be the best chance they get to do that.
But the aim of the student ministry at CCM is wider than evangelism. My prayer is that over the three (or four years) that a student is with us they will get a biblical grounding that will provide the foundation for a lifetime of gospel living learnt in the context of a church family that loves and cares for them. Apart from church on Sunday, the main student work happens on a Tuesday at Student Knowing God (SKG). It might sound like the KG many will know (and love!) on a Wednesday or Thursday evening , but that initial ‘S’ signifies extra for students (and we don’t just mean ‘sustenance’ in the form of a home-made pud each week!)! At SKG every Tuesday there’s a talk that covers a key Christian doctrine, pastoral issue or cultural phenomenon: coming up this year amongst other things we’ll be looking at creation, union with Christ, the church, pornography and our “entertainment culture.” Of course, lots of eating is involved! Then we have a bible study – we’re in a three-year cycle looking at a gospel, the book of Romans and then a bible overview. For 2014 we’re going to be doing studies in the book of John. This will dovetail with what UCCF is going to be encouraging students to read in the Christian Unions at universities around the country. As well as growing to love Jesus more, our hope is that studying John in detail will give our students confidence to read that gospel one-to-one with their non-Christian friends at uni.
The blessing and responsibility for helping our students grow and mature in Christ, and for loving and caring for them isn’t just restricted to the student team of course. While most students go to the 7pm service, lots also go to the 5pm and 10.15am as well. It really is wonderful (reciprocally!) for students to have friendships with others in the CCM congregation: whether you’re just starting out in your career, learning to bring up young kids or have been following Jesus for many years, sharing your life experience with our students would be huge blessing for them. So don’t be shy! If you spot a student on a Sunday do introduce yourself to them and perhaps invite them round for Sunday a lunch or a meal in the week. I’m sure they’d be delighted to help with the baby sitting in return!
So many of us will have either come to faith or got serious about our faith during our time at university, let’s really pray that the same would be try of many of our students at CCM.
We love having you as part of our church family at Christ Church Mayfair! We want to help you make the most of your time with us so get stuck in as fast as you can! Commit to coming regularly to one or more of our Sunday services, sign up double-quick for an SKG (Tuesday bible study) group, find out how you can serve in some way – it’s a great way to get to know others - eat our food (there’s usually plenty!).
We have a great team who would love to look out for you and there’s lots going on. You can find out about it here, and we look forward to meeting you!