I don’t believe for one moment that just because the universities are shut that God doesn’t want to reach students.
I continue to believe that every student deserves an opportunity to put their hope in Jesus and find home in the local church today. God’s mission to students has not been furloughed, no one has pressed pause and it is not on hold. If anything the current climate means that for many students their hopes and dreams are shrouded in uncertainty and they are more receptive and open to the hope Jesus offers. Students have been dealt a blow, they are reeling, dazed and confused, and they need pastoring by the church (fellow students included). They need to hear that God can be trusted and their future is secure in him. They need to experience the love of God and his peace that passes all understanding. They need to be invited into online community and offered prayer at this time.
‘God’s mission to students has not been furloughed, no one has pressed pause and it is not on hold’
So, now is not the time to stop student mission, even though it feels risky, even though there could be a financial cost, even though other options are easier. Now is the time to reach out in new ways and like the parable of the sower, scatter gospel seed liberally and generously. It does mean that the tried and tested methods and practices need to be rethought and reworked. We must change and adapt to work with God in this season. This is a time for huge creativity, innovation and pioneering where we aren’t just passively waiting for things to go back to normal. Normal was familiar, comfortable and it had a faint spiritual pulse. It was also largely unreached, unfriendly at times and unlikely to see a move of God or awakening, so do we really want to go back to that normal anyway?
‘Normal was familiar, comfortable and it had a faint spiritual pulse’
A better question might be, what does God want for us? Which in turn leads us to ask what does it look like to seek first God’s Kingdom in this season? A Kingdom that is not on hold and a Kingdom mission to students that is not on hold. I believe that God has a vision of a preferred future for us that doesn’t involve going back to normal. A vision where neighbours are loved and communities built around the love of God. Where false comforts are discarded and security is found by responding to the call of God. Where students catch a glimpse of that vision and dare to mortgage their futures to pursue such a call. In fact it is utterly preposterous that God should have any interest in our lives going back to normal when he is 100% invested and committed to making all things new, and that includes you and me.
I urge you to join in with God’s mission to students at this time.
Rich Wilson is movement leader of Fusion