Anyone else notice that massive elephant in the room?
You know the one. That thing that you’d prefer not to talk about, that issue you’re doing your best to ignore…
We’re in May which means it’s exam time, dissertation hand-ins and the final push towards the summer. Perhaps it’s the elephant of work you are doing your best to pretend doesn’t exist? Perhaps the elephant in the room with you and your housemates is your faith?
You’re all about to go your separate ways, perhaps for a few months, perhaps for ever… and you know that your parting exchange with your mates could be significant. The perfect chance to pray for them? The ideal moment to hand them a bible with a message inside? If only you had the courage not to ignore that elephant.
There are some UK-wide elephants in the room too you know. One of the biggest elephants for every expression of church in the UK is the fact that 73% of Christians don’t connect to church when they get to Uni*. It’s not very popular to talk about the fact that thousands of school leavers actively followed Jesus and lived-out their faith in the body of Christ up until they left for a new city to do their degree. Hundreds of you reading this will be in that rare 27% who have landed well and stayed church-connected… but statistically, hundreds of you reading this won’t be.
I challenge you to not ignore the elephant. You know people in your church, your youth group, your family, that are heading off to Uni this September. Can you send them a link to studentlinkup.org so they can connect to church before they start their degree? Can you sit down with them and chew through what they’ll face when they reach Uni and help prepare them for the changes in faith and life-stage?
I also challenge you to face the elephants in the room as we near the end of this academic year. Is now the time to ask that course mate what they’re thinking about Jesus? Is this the Sunday you bring a housemate to church? Should you be giving your friend a book to read over the holidays that might actually change their lives? (I recommend Timothy Keller’s ‘Reason for God’ for instance).
Let’s get confronting those elephants.
*Acording to research in 2011 by the CUE project, 73% of Christian students don't connect to church or any Christian group at university.