Week 31 - Would students notice if you left your ministry area today?

How would you describe the state of life on your local campus right now?
How much does your answer affect how you lead (or would like to lead) your ministry?
If we all disappeared tomorrow, who would notice or care? How do you feel about the answer to that question?


Wow - what challenging questions!

A couple of years ago, one of our good friends, Ralph Pedley from Vinelife Church Manchester, asked the student workers in the city these three questions to help us ponder what it means for us to consider the campuses of our cities/towns as places of collective responsibility for us and our student ministries. It certainly challenged not just me, but Karim as well; it made us rethink how we view and go about leading student ministry. Karim is one of the collective of Campus Leaders in Manchester where he is committed to pray for the students and cultivate a culture of prayer and mission on campus. Below is a summary of how the questions above changed his view and posture towards student ministry and as a result what he is noticing, a few years down the line.

“The reality is that our students or what we view as ‘our students’, as in the fair few who come to our student nights and events, might notice us if we were to disappear tomorrow, but the wider student population of Manchester probably wouldn’t notice.” God’s been really speaking to him about this and brewing up a fresh way to view student ministry.

Karim regularly spends time on campus talking to students, praying for them, sharing the gospel with them - simply being present on campus. He believes that “the more you’re out, the more you meet the same people regularly, over and over again.” In fact, a couple of weeks ago, we were on campus in Manchester using Fusion’s Student Worldview Survey to speak with students and we bumped into a couple of students. Karim has been able to build a deep relationship with them by simply being out on campus regularly. They were people who wouldn’t normally come to their student night and wouldn’t engage with their church events, but he would still view them as his church.

A while ago, God spoke to him - “what if we viewed ministry as our parishes. What if our university campus became our parish? What if as student workers, we viewed our campuses as our parishes to love and to serve? What if we had the heart to serve and view ALL STUDENTS as being under our pastoral care and our support? Then people would notice us if we disappeared tomorrow. It’s not so much about them coming to our thing, instead we’ll be building a servant relationship with them and they’ll be getting to know Christians in Manchester.”

I feel deeply moved and inspired by Karim, his commitment to the student generation and for his heart to take the church out on to our campuses where there is a huge need for it.

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

Maral Assadzadeh

Partnership Developer

Maral is passionate about student mission because she first experienced God's love through hearing the Gospel at uni in Iran. She is now part of the Partnership Team based in Wales serving churches to reach the 99% of students who don't yet know Jesus.

Partner with Maral