Mission. A funny old word. To some, an awkward uncle; something you feel you should have a relationship with, but you’re not really sure how to approach it. To others, a fun, unruly friend; a companion on the journey of faith that you’re a little bit scared of but also don’t know where you’d be without it.
When Jesus calls Simon Peter to follow him, he specifically says he’ll be fishing for people. The stories that follow are brimming with encounters, conversations and miracles - ‘fishing for people’ moments that seem to be a key part of what it means to follow Jesus.
So, how do we do this?
And how do we get our student groups doing it too? Is it possible to get the students you’re leading to really own and go after mission on their campuses?
Luc Sadler has been trying this for a while with his student group.
A few years ago, we ran some training in their 'come back early' week all about their different Mission Styles; the ways that each of them instinctively approach faith and share it with others.
And they absolutely ran with it. They took it as a challenge to think of different ways of reaching out and 'fishing for people' on campus using their mission styles. That term, they got out and did washing up in freshers' halls, sparked long conversations about God & science, went and sat with people by themselves and looked for people to pray for for healing. Students who thought they weren't particularly evangelists and those who were shy and quiet found new confidence in sharing their faith.
This is how weekly 'Campus Mission' started.
Mission sparked more mission. A core group of students started to go out onto campus each Thursday with different ways of reaching out, bringing their own ideas and capturing more of God's heart for their campus and growing in their own faith as they went.
Mission has continued to spark more mission. These same students prayer-walked campus every day of September the following year, made art of God’s truths to put up around campus, and even threw a banquet for the community one year.
Mission Styles worked as a real triggering point for reaching out to campus in new ways.
Have you explored the different Mission Styles with your student group?
Take the test, learn about the styles together and find your own creative ways of putting them into practise. What could this spark in your student group?