As we’ve been so encouraged to see this year, CUs are a wonderful way for students to find faith in Jesus. They’re also a wonderful place for Christian students to deepen in their love of Him.
In CUs, students spend three years surrounded by like-minded friends, pursuing a vision to make disciples of Christ. As they do, they are helped to grow confident in the truth, motivated by grace, and committed to the local church, through local churches, attending prayer meetings, small groups, seminars and engaging in one-to-one Bible reading. This discipleship has lifelong effects. It can give foundational confidence in Christ, which helps students long after they graduate.
Here, Kayley, Relay Worker at Keele University, reflects on her experience of both being discipled in CU, and discipling others.
During my time at university, I was incredibly blessed with input from two great Relay Workers (both called Naomi)! As a fresher, I met up with them to study the Bible and talk about life, often after a game of Monopoly Deal. In my second year, my Relay Worker checked in with me in between committee meetings to remind me about the importance of resting and understanding my own limitations. But as a student I often saw discipleship from my Relay Workers as simply ‘conversations over coffee’.
Since becoming a Relay Worker myself, and meeting with a handful of first-year girls, it has been incredible to see that beyond our chats over coffee (or other hot beverages), many of these girls have grown in their faith and have been equipped to lead the CU next year in various roles.
The impact on students
No matter where these students have been in their faith, I’ve loved getting to share in the highlights of university as well as comfort them during the low points. I have shared life with these girls, seeing them settle into university, make friends, and grow in a passion for their subject – such as a midwifery student who shared her first experience of delivering a baby! I’ve found that sometimes, one-to-ones can involve listening to students' challenges and checking on their wellbeing. It can even involve helping them to figure out adulting: finding housing or negotiating relationships.
It’s also been an honour to see my students honestly ask questions and grow in a hunger for God’s Word.
One of my students, Jeanette said this about our meet ups: ‘The one-to-one sessions with Kayley have been really beneficial. I now have more of a desire to listen and read the Bible despite it being challenging. Going though it with someone has been helpful because I am also able to ask any questions I have regarding what we are going though or if I have any other concerns.’
The impact on me
Through discipling students, I have been humbled and encouraged. Students are notoriously curious and thoughtful, often I have left one-to-ones with a new excitement about Scripture. Equally, as we chat together about gospel truths, God’s character and our identity in Christ – I am challenged in the lessons I am trying to teach them.
I enjoy creatively relating our discussions to activities such as drawing pictures, playing games or reflecting on songs which connect to what we are studying. When I am planning a one-to-one, this is particularly important as each student learns and communicates differently!
Discipleship at church
Finally, sometimes it can be difficult for Relay Workers as there are so many students who we cannot meet with regularly. But we are not meant to live our life alone, but in community with God’s people!
Thoughtfully taking time to walk through life with a student could help them grow in dependence on God and hear gospel truth through the noise of this world. So, if you are reading this and are involved in a church with students in your congregation – why not consider discipling some young adults?
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