Despite being in the grip of a lockdown, CU mission weeks are still going ahead.
These are weeks of high-profile events, designed to make Jesus known to the wider university. They are a pivotal point in the year – many give their lives to Jesus, start investigating Him, or discover and grow in a love of evangelism. This year, they will run online, with some CUs spreading events across a fortnight, while others run one each week.
It’s probably hard to picture. Normally, when we think of mission weeks, we think of bright CU jumpers, students handing out flyers or sitting around tables in a crowded room. But this year, it will look more like…
… a CU member sitting on a bed with a friend, listening to a mission week event on a laptop
… a group of flatmates standing in the kitchen debating the talk they just watched on the TV
… two students sipping hot chocolate outside on a walk as they discuss who Jesus really is
… a series of small dings on a phone as coursemates debate Christianity on a group chat
… a fresher nervously unmuting themselves on a Zoom call to ask a question to the speaker
… a student flicking through a Gospel that they found inside a CU care package
… a group of bleary-eyed CU members on a crowded Zoom screen, gathering to pray each morning
Though this will all happen online and with different formats, at the end of the day the essence of these mission weeks will be the same as it always has: students reaching out to students to share the gospel.
1. Pray for dependence on God
Pray that students remain focussed on the Lord as they run these events – rooted firmly in the gospel, prayerfully dependent on Him and with the aim of glorifying Jesus and not themselves.
2. Pray that CU members are relational with their invites
With everything happening online, it can be tempting for students just to post a link to a CU event on a group chat or share about it on social media. While this is effective, it’s probably the virtual equivalent of simply putting a poster up – let’s pray that students still prayerfully and relationally invite individual friends to come to mission week events.
3. Pray for online CU hosts
A number of CU leaders will be hosting live, online events. This isn’t an easy task, as they attempt to navigate technology, appear warm and welcoming and signpost events and next steps. Pray that these CU leaders will prepare well, and that listening students are put at ease through their confident and clear hosting.
4. Pray for working technology
Lots of CUs will be relying on strong internet and working laptops and cameras to run these mission weeks. Pray that these consistently work well.
5. Pray for intentional follow-up
Pray that CU members intentionally follow-up. ‘Experience shows that it’s relatively easy to draw a crowd to an online event – but hard to build on the interest seekers have.’ (Head of Creative Evangelism, Pete Dray). Pray CU members stay in touch with unbelieving students they meet, and put structures in place to help with this, such as online seeker courses and Bible-reading resources.
Thank you for your prayers as CU students boldly run these mission weeks.
Keep an eye on our Instagram (@uccf) throughout February and March to hear the latest updates.
To pray for specific CUs as and when they run events, check out our daily Focus prayer points.
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