Joel and Ezra both studied at the University of Guildford and pioneered the student work at their church while they were still students. They realised that their church was not doing anything specifically for the students in the church, or for students not in the church, and they wanted to see this change.
Here are three key points which they shared about their experience of pioneering student work:
1. FIND A FRIEND
"Find a friend who is on the same wavelength as you, and is equally passionate about starting student work. This will provide you with motivation to get things done, and also means there are at least two of you at any event you run! If you can’t find a friend, then have a chat with your church leaders and share your ideas of what could be done to welcome and disciple students at your church."
2. START WITH SMALL GROUPS
"Small groups are an easy way to build community and for students to get to know one another. Once these groups are set up, make sure that they run consistently. As the group gets to know each other, there will be lots of opportunities for good discussion and friendships to be formed."
3. GO WHERE THE STUDENTS ALREADY ARE
"Student mission is an important part of student work. How are students going to know about Jesus if no one tells them? But if the students aren’t coming to church, then we’ve got to go to them. Whether that’s going to the pub, the club, ice skating or bowling-go to places where students already are. It’s also more likely that students from your church will bring along their friends to these events.
Also, be aware of when the big student nights and events are. Try not to arrange church events for these evenings, as it’s unlikely that flatmates and friends will come, as they’ll have other places to go. Instead, encourage your students to go along to those events and be a witness through the way they act. Choose a different evening to host your student event."
If you are a student who is passionate about starting up student work in your church, we hope these tips are helpful and we are praying for you as you begin to reach out to students.