We can’t get on campus
This is something we hear a lot. Churches and faith based groups are often not given permission to officially meet on campus and are regularly faced with red tape and policies.
Sam in Manchester has faced this time and time again, but this hasn’t stopped the churches making a kingdom impact on campus.
“Year on year we haven’t been given permission to get on campus to do a trychurch stand. This year there were 8 churches that were keen and again we got a no.
Instead, we’ve looked into other ways to bless, serve and engage with students. We got in touch with the person that owns the halls of residence to say we want to do something for them and started off by offering to help students move in.
Over time we built relationships and started to ask bolder questions. We got stuck in doing teas and coffees and having a presence in the halls on the freshers nights. This then moved to us sharing the gospel and praying for people. We asked the halls if we could come onto campus to prayer walk and offer to pray. It’s a big campus with 3000 students, a great space to be in.
I’ve found the key is to keep it low key and conversational. No t-shirts, no flyers, simply an offer to pray.”
In Acts 1:8 it says "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
Students - you have all authority to go and share who you know Jesus to be. You don’t need permission to be on campus. You’re a living, breathing example of hope and love.
Student workers - train your students, get out and do a bit of mission as a team to give your students a framework to have a go so that they can then live it every day.
We’ve been given the power of the Holy Spirit to get out there and be witnesses.
Sam in Manchester did just that with the students he works with. As a team they, committed to going back to the halls week on week, prayer walking, sharing the gospel and praying for people.
“We recognise there is a mandate on students to be missional, not just in a student context but in their own specific context. We saw students start to do Bible studies with their mates and set up prayer groups between seminars. We saw fruit through the relationships formed in their own contexts, with course mates and friends finding prayer attractive and wanting to join in.
A guy who came along to a prayer group started to study the Bible with them, quickly he gave his life to Jesus and got baptised in a bath. He invited a mate to come along, who in turn asked to become a Christian, and wanted to know how to pray and how to read the Bible.”
Red tape may stop you getting into freshers fairs and organised university events but, with a bit of boldness, creativity, and students themselves knowing that they carry the power of the Holy Spirit, there isn’t much that can stop you making a kingdom impact.