Michael is a Student worker in Derby. check out his Student linkup freshers fair stand experience and the power of a simple invite to #Trychurch.
For the second year running we set up a #TryChurch stand at Derby Uni's Freshers Fair to try and encourage and invite students, whether Christian or not, to give church a try at uni.
I'm always amused by the variety of personalities you encounter at these events and the responses you get from them. And I'm also always caught off guard by the mixed bag of people who express interest. One such encounter stands out from this year's fair…
A girl was marching past our stand with some friends, who were clearly more interested in stocking up on freebies than what any particular stand was representing. They walked past us without so much as a glance, which I took as a challenge.
“Have you ever thought about trying church?” I called after them.
To my surprise, she stopped dead, turned around, came marching up to me, and said “Yeah! I’ve been thinking I need the whole Jesus thing!”.
Surprised, but delighted, I asked her a few more questions as she signed up on the linkup app; “Great! Why do think you need that?”
“Well, I stopped taking drugs a couple of weeks ago and I'm just wanting to get myself clean. I figured Jesus and church might be able to help with that!?”
I loved the honesty! And although her friends were bemusedly sniggering behind her back she showed zero care. She finished signing up and chatting, and then continued on her hunt for freebies.
The following day I met my student team and shared the story with them. At which point one of the team declares, “Oh I know her, she’s a friend on my course, we have chats all the time. That’s really crazy - I’ve been praying for her…!” 5 minutes later, this girl had been texted and 5 days later she was at church with us. It was the first time she’d ever been in her life.
There were three takeaways from this whole thing for me:
The invite is for everyone: Don’t have a stereotype of who will and won’t be interested in Jesus - He’s good news for everyone.
Remember: God is always at work behind the scenes. Calling people to himself, placing Christians in their lives, and knitting His plans together.
- Keep Praying: God really does hear our prayers for people!