Last week we joined a load of other organisations at a freshers fair but instead of giving away the normal freebies we decided to extend the invitation to Try Church.
During the course of the day, we had lots of conversations with students but there was one topic which kept cropping up. Loneliness. One student we spoke to told us how much she was missing her mum who was still in Greece. Numerous others explained how they just hadn’t clicked with their housemates and were concerned about how they were going to meet new friends when the majority of their teaching is online.
While it made me deeply sad to hear about these students' struggles, it also provided a great opportunity to ask them; have you thought about trying church? Sometimes the answer was yes. Sometimes the answer was no. But every time it gave us the chance to tell them about the community and support which the church provides and how welcome they would be.
If you’re a student reading this and you’re finding it hard to settle into university then let me first say that we are so sorry you are feeling this way and we are praying for you. But secondly, let me encourage you to give church a go. Church is full of a whole range of people who would love to meet you and welcome you into their community. Even if you’ve never been to church before or don’t have a faith, these people want to get to know you and support you.
To find a church near your university you can download the Student Linkup app here.
If you’re already involved with a church, then let me encourage you to think about how you can be reaching out to students during this season. Perhaps you can invite them for dinner or go on a walk. Or maybe you could just be a listening ear while they talk about how they are really finding university. Either way, please make an extra effort to be really welcoming of any students who walk through your doors/ join your online gathering.
If you would like to register your church on Student Linkup please click here. We’d love to have you on board!