Joining The Movement: Are We There Yet?

Student Mission: Are we there yet?

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"

Mark 1:15

“Are we there yet?”

That question from my 3-year-old sent shudders through me 5 miles into an 800 mile trip to France! “We could be in for a loooong one!” I thought.

I’ve asked myself that question over the years about student work.

“Lord, are we there yet?” Then again a year or two down the road and then ten and fifteen years further along, “Surely, we’re there now Lord?!”  

"When we have God’s fire and love for students the idea of a linear career path or building our CV becomes ridiculous."

Actually, at times it was more like “Lord, can I get out of here?” I need a more serious job now, one society or even the church takes more seriously. Students are niche, short term and too specialist. I’m ruining my chances of career progression here!

Calling has a significant part to play in working in the student mission field long term. When we have God’s fire and love for students the idea of a linear career path or building our CV becomes ridiculous.

Calling is dangerous. It does not guarantee and secure your source of income, where you live or even who you work with. By responding to a calling we’re plunged into a deeper experience of grace and dependence on God.

In Christ, we’re secure in God’s grace and empowered to stay the course to love students year after year, seeing them come and go through the ups and downs. Our sense of God’s leading keeps us trusting even when we become frustrated at the pace of the journey. God’s calling is enough for us to remain and bear fruit on the way to ‘there.’

“Are we there yet?” my 3 old asks again five minutes later. He loves to wind me up!

So, I explain some of the journey, how much fun it will be - we’ll have Haribo, play on the iPad, get on the train that takes us under the sea and then drive in France where we get to have lovely chocolate croissants! Now what adult wouldn’t love that? Never mind a 3-year-old!

Let me explain some of the journey of student mission.

The journey ahead year on year also involves students rocking up to university facing this daunting crossroads. They are in a valley of decision, who will they be? This is a dream scenario! We, as ambassadors of Christ, have the opportunity to share the grace of God and invite students to embrace their identity and destiny in Christ.

In student work, the joy set before us involves making disciples that will disciple whole spheres of society. They will run businesses, councils, the NHS, the army, even the government to say a few! We are disciple-ling a group of people that will reform the systems of injustice ravaging this world. We are calling out in every student the gold, the destiny, their part in the Kingdom mission.

So how do we answer that question, “Are we there yet?”

When we recognise that the journey is toward the Kingdom of God then the answer becomes more complex. It’s both yes and no! Or “now and not yet”. So, we see the signs of the promised land, we taste the fruit, but we know there is more! More students becoming disciples in our universities and deeper hope for the transformation of our values as a society. We have both arrived in the Kingdom yet not fully arrived!

This new vista of student mission is waiting for those with prophetic imagination and legs to run with the vision year after year.  Remember  Isaiah 43:19  “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” We need eyes to see! Here are some questions to help you discern and see where ‘there’ is and how you get ‘there’.

What is Jesus showing you on the way to the promised land?

What do you see ahead in student mission?

What do you need to keep running the race long term?

 

You can find out more, by contacting Luke on luke.smith@fusionmovment.org or apply for a specific role here. We’d love to hear from you!

This blog is part of a series called Joining The Movement. For more from this series, click here. 

Alan Taylor

Regional Team Leader

Alan’s role is to draw churches across Europe into a vision for a spiritual awakening in the unis. He lives in Manchester with his wife Ruth and two children.

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