September’s just around the corner, and that’ll means for thousands of new students Freshers’ Week is fast approaching. As a result it’s an absolutely crucial time for University Christian Unions (CUs), both in encouraging Christian freshers, and in giving a whole new intake of students a chance to hear about the good news of Jesus, maybe for the first time. If you’re part of a CU, here’s the first of a handful posts putting together some tips on making the most of the opportunities you have as a CU in these crucial first few weeks…
There’s an old story about a large city’s transport organisation who received a load of complaints that their buses were driving past customers leaving them standing at the bus stops. Bizarrely the organisation responded to this by putting a notice in the local paper that read: “It is impossible for us to maintain our schedule if we are always having to stop and pick up passengers.” Ridiculous, I know, but it’s become a classic example of not keeping the main thing the main thing. But it’s something that we can all do, CU’s included.
CU’s exist for evangelism, to give every student the opportunity to respond to the amazing news of Jesus Christ. That is our main thing. We come together as Christians from different churches to encourage each other in this task, and to make the most of the great opportunities there are to run events on campus where the gospel is put out into the public sphere. You may feel all this is stating the obvious, but don’t underestimate how easy it is for CU’s to be distracted from this goal.
If you’re involved in leadership in CU, then just think about it: you’ve actually been delegated responsibility to ensure this glorious vision is steering all that you do. Whether you’re a secretary, treasurer or the president, you have a responsibility to keep the CU on track for this task. I can distinctly remember visiting a CU in London a few years ago and hearing the CU president open the meeting by explaining with great clarity and passion that the CU was all about being a ‘mission team on campus’. It left a mark on me, because on the one hand it was such a simple thing to do, yet it also gave real focus both to our identity as a CU and the point of that meeting. We weren’t just a bunch of individuals who had come together for an hour and a half that evening; we had a task, an aim. Here’s two ways to help you evaluate how you’re doing as CU leaders on keeping the main thing the main thing: