A powerful and challenging guest blog from Nick Welford, Youth Worker extraordinaire in Scarborough.
It was my first free weekend in over a month and I was, on the motorway. Why? To see one of my former young people who had now become a fresher. This lad had traversed the pit falls of secondary school and still come out with a Christian faith. He had been a highly active member of the youth group, and if I'm honest I didn't (and still don't) expect the Uni experience to rob him of his faith, so you might well ask why bother? After all, as a youth worker surely my job was done?
The reason I went and will continue to visit over the course of his Uni life is because I don't need stats. I don't need stats to tell me that Uni is game changing. I don't need pie charts to explain that for a young Christian it can either make or break their faith. I've sent young people to Uni who have lost their faith when I thought they were strong. I've had young people strengthen their faith when I thought it would be destroyed. I've seen everything in-between and I've decided I will no longer settle for ploughing years of hard work into young people's lives to see this time of their lives take that away.
Maybe you have a bigger youth group than I do and to visit every young person who leaves for Uni would be too much for you, but you have a team right? You have volunteers? At the very least you have a phone.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 4:7 that sin crouches at the door, that it desires to have us. It's not something we just fall into, it actively seeks us out. For many young people Uni will be the first real test of this. So if you are a youth worker why not arrange to visit some of your freshers and go with them to a local church? If you're one of those freshers why not give your old youth worker a text and remind them you still exist?