Today I Skyped with a new student worker, Simon, about preparing for next (academic) year. It was great to explore starting from scratch but I realised, as we spoke, that what we discussed is healthy for any student worker to consider in preparation for doing next year well...
With whom will you...share your experience
Local church student work is still a reasonably new endeavour and some can find themselves discouraged or dry on just ideas of their own. You’re working with a creative, dynamic culture so there’s always scope, space, need, for innovation. Simon was interested in a new mission initiative so I put him in touch with Ralph, a student worker in Manchester who's involved in something similar. Sharing stories helps shape ideas, brings courage and raises faith for what's possible.
Who are you sharing your experiences with? Who inspires you?
[For a book of inspiring stories, see Living Mission]
Where will you...get practical training and insight
Simon is interested in welcoming international students. This is another new field for widespread church engagement, full of potential and life. Its also challenging. Enter Chernise. Chernise has been working with international students for 6 years. She is full of wise insight, stories and advice. This is another kind of sharing experience - accessing seasoned insight and worked-through best practice.
What training or insight would help you to lead well? From whom or where can you get that training and insight?
How will you...invest in your team
Its amazing to be at the start of something. Its even better to be there with a team backing and supporting you. Simon will hopefully be coming with some team to our Student Work Conference in September. For those already involved it will provide some of the idea-sharing and practical training they need. For those still considering involvement it will be a chance to hear stories, meet practitioners and give God space to speak about working with students. Hopefully it will help inspire a whole new generation of student leaders for this church and others who come too.