Week 13 - Church Becoming Home for Every Student

We’ve been hearing and seeing the openness to faith in students over the past year, something has shifted, and we keep seeing this all over the UK. Testimonies of students encountering Jesus in their dreams, having open visions or being invited to Alpha and encountering the Holy Spirit. All these stories remind me of one thing, God is doing something significant in the student generation in the UK, and it isn’t just limited to those who are from here. Every year, thousands of International students arrive in the UK with hopes and dreams about their future and career; paving a way for a better life for not just them, but for their families back home. For some of them, being away from home for the first time, also offers them an opportunity to explore what Jesus and the church might have to offer. 

My friend Ramesh, leads a church plant in east London called Oasis Church, where they gather predominantly South Asian students and young adults. In these past few months, they’ve increased their emphasis as a church on sharing the gospel and to see those in church grow in confidence in sharing it. As they’ve pressed into more of this as a church they’ve seen an increased openness to the gospel especially as their students have begun sharing their faith with their friends. Here’s a few headlines they’ve seen:

“We had a Hindu student come to church, without her family knowing. While being part of this church, she felt welcomed and part of the family. She gave her life to Jesus, and continues to pursue him. All the while her family have no idea that this has happened.”

“One student began noticing that her friend started asking questions about Christianity and faith, and she was able to share her testimony and talk about how her faith and church community has helped anchor her. She invited her friend to come to church, and when she arrived to the church, the hospitality and love made her feel so warm and welcomed.”

The invitation to international students no matter what their faith background, to become part of a community and family that is loving and welcoming them, is one of the most powerful ways we as the church can outwork the gospel. As students become open and more curious, could I encourage you to become bold in your invitation, even if it looks like saying “Come and see”.

Every week of the academic year, we are sharing a story of student mission. If you have a story to share, let us know.

** Names of students have not been shared to protect their identities **

Aaron Nayagam

Head of Mission

Aaron is passionate about equipping the local church to reach and raise the next generation to know Jesus, and in particular has a heart to invest in the South Asian churches in the UK.

Partner with Aaron