Mobilising the student generation into a life of discipleship has an impact on all generations as we reach the next thinkers, creatives, teachers, parents, leaders, culture setters, world changers, influencers and so much more with the life changing love of God.
In this blog series, we will be sharing stories of people whose lives have been personally impacted by Student Mission and the legacy it has.
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I’m Jonny. I work with Agapé Student Life in Oxford and the South Central helping students explore what it means to know Jesus, grow in their faith, and share it with others. I’m 29, married to Ellie with a little baby boy called Freddie. I love playing rugby, having a pint with friends, and relaxing at home watching Netflix.
Where and what did you study?
I studied Economics at the University of Nottingham.
How did you come to faith at University?
I came to faith in the Summer between my 1st and 2nd year at uni through some very dramatic circumstances, so I came back in September with a need to get involved in some Christian community. At church I met one of the Agapé staff who then began discipling me. He helped me understand exactly what it meant to be a Christian and the importance of our role in building God’s kingdom and sharing our faith. Without that teaching and him modelling what evangelism can look like, I’m sure I wouldn’t be as confident in my faith now and have stepped out of my comfort zone as much to help others know God too.
How did following Jesus transform your University experience?
When I started university, I had no real purpose, a fair few insecurities, and wanted to coast through my three years without having to put myself “out there” too much. But as I started to follow Jesus, a whole new way of life opened up to me that I would never have anticipated entering into. There was so much more to my university experience than coasting through my degree with a few fun memories along the way. God wanted me to invest time in people and see them as He does: loved but lost and in need of Him so I began having conversations with people around campus about Jesus, getting to share my testimony, and praying for them. Although it was often hard to see what fruit God was growing in those I spoke to, ultimately it set me on a course of wanting to share the gospel with others that has continued to this day.
Why do you think Student Mission is essential?
Students are in a unique time of their lives where they experience intense and varied community, new-found independence, and are establishing ways of being and doing that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It’s an ideal time to teach Christians to prioritise God’s kingdom work and to put Him on the agenda of those that don’t know Him yet.
What vision has God given you for the context that you’re in?
I want to see students leaving university with a deep hunger for Jesus, a desire to make him known, and the skills to do that wherever they go, whatever they do, for the rest of their lives. Working amongst students in Oxford, this provides such an exciting scope as the city attracts young people from all over the world and in turn sends them out to be people of influence among families, communities, workplaces, and even governments. Think how they could use that influence for Jesus! Many of those young people don’t know Jesus yet so I spend time trying to share the gospel with them around campus and in the city, but others do and I want to be able to equip them to confidently share the gospel now and in the future.
At Fusion, we are passionate about seeing the church, both locally and globally capture God’s heart and love for university students and are so encouraged when we hear stories like this. So we will be gathering at our annual conference with a desire to see the student world transformed by the good news of Jesus.
If you’ve been personally impacted by Student Mission feel free to drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to read your story!