"Students at the heart of the system"

The government are putting students “at the heart” of their plans, but where exactly do students want that to be?

 I’ve been keeping track of reports on the latest student protest march to grace the streets of the capital and it’s made for quite interesting reading. Some of you won’t have even heard another protest took place; if you don’t have a telly in your halls of residence and have been snowed under with essays you might have missed it. Thousands of students turned out in peaceful force campaigning against the rise in tuition fees again, as well as corruption, capitalism and generally the frustrations with the current climate and its casualties.

 The government are saying they have made their plans with “students at the heart of the system” but it’s leaving many students wondering which particular university-attendees they are referring to, because it certainly doesn’t feel like them. The BBC correspondent reporting on the events said something that struck me: "It's the most tightly controlled march through London that I have ever seen. Very little opportunity for protesters to break away…”

 Imagine if someone had said that about a church-gathering of students; that it was so tightly controlled, people found it hard to break away and do their own thing. In a protest, it is applauded when maximum control equals maximum safety of individuals. In a faith-context, if people try and tightly control what God “should or shouldn’t do” and how, we would all feel very uncomfortable and like we were being manipulated rather than living in an active relationship with a creator who says “call me Father”.

 Students: some of you will have been at the protest a couple of weeks back, and I applaud your get-up-and-go. Others of you will be inwardly protesting against what’s going down, but haven’t yet done anything with the angst. However, we all have this power available to us that doesn’t limit us to a day in London. This power can’t be “tightly controlled”, and it isn’t found in the “heart of a system”, it IS the heart, of everything.

 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1: 7

 I don’t want to hear damaging stories of aggressive rioting from students, but I do want to hear stories of students not being tightly controlled with very little opportunity of breaking away…

Step up. Be the heart of the system.

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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