"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light." Luke 11:33
So what do you do when a generation of students don’t come to church? You take the church to them and let your light shine!
As a student community we decided to take a gazebo, a table and a big wooden cross onto the streets where students were moving from pub to club at night. It was very visible and attracted lots of attention.
At midnight onwards we had our “Midnight Mass”. We are not Roman Catholics, but we do believe in the power of remembering what Christ has done for us in the bread and wine.
Everyone who came to the table had an opportunity to take bread and wine. We would bless the “meal” and then explain what it meant to us. If they understood that it was a sign of God’s love and salvation, and an offer of grace. Then we shared together this blessing.
Many received prayer for healing, freedom and God’s blessing in Christ. We had loads of conversations each night about Jesus with students, all from very different backgrounds. There were agnostics and atheists as well as those who identified as Christians from the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions who rarely attended church.
It was clear the simple symbols of bread and wine (we actually used juice - there was enough alcohol being consumed!) drew people forward, curious and intrigued by their meaning. Many students recognised the communion, warmed to their appearance and were willing to participate in a moment of consecration.
We chatted with students about Jesus, engaged in prayer and many made decisions to take new steps toward Christ because they could see the church - it became visible to them.
Mass is derived from the latin word “sending”. The church are God’s people SENT in the power of the Spirit. What better time to be sent by God than when many students are looking for God and waiting to be sent on His mission.