Next year, we want to put 20 Staff Workers in the universities to support and equip the Christian Unions at a crucial moment.
These Staff Workers will spend their time reading the Bible one-to-one with students, delivering evangelistic talks, providing training seminars and much, much more.
But what difference does all this actually make?
Staff Workers remind students of the unique opportunity they have to share the gospel. They encourage them to keep evangelism a top priority.
When he first came to university, John wanted to throw himself into Swansea CU, but was reluctant to engage with other societies and make unbelieving friends. ‘The uni culture many of them came from was far from what I wanted to engage in,’ He explained. After meeting and chatting to Staff Worker Meg Conway, he was challenged to invest in those on his course and be bold in sharing Jesus with them in those settings. ‘Meg encouraged me to use my time with fellow musicians, and as a result many have come to CU events, and I’m now living with an unbelieving friend in my final year next year. This would not have come about if I hadn’t been encouraged to build those relationships a few years back.’
Staff Workers help students grow in confidence. They encourage and raise up future leaders.
As a commuting student, Isabel felt a little disconnected from Queen Mary CU. So when she was asked to be an Impact Group leader in August last year, she was the first to admit she was anxious! ‘Speaking was hard for me, and I wasn’t sure how I’d lead the group well,’ she said. However, others gave encouragement, and she then began meeting with Staff Worker Emma Joseph to read through Colossians. ‘Having regular studies with Emma really helped me to see how to look at God’s Word carefully, which was such a help as I ran my group.' She said, 'By God’s grace, I grew more confident in leading and even started to look forward to it!’ Next year, Isabel is now excited to serve on the main CU committee.
'Having regular studies with Emma really helped. By God’s grace, I grew more confident in leading and even started to look forward to it!'
With experience, wisdom and logistical know-how, Staff Workers help CUs think outside the box and plan big plans.
One Christmas, Huddersfield CU wanted to hold a big event with a great atmosphere that friends would want to come to. CU member Eva says, ‘We were struggling to put it on, but our Staff Worker Ang helped us construct a Christmas meal, find a venue and people in churches to help cook! She was invaluable.’ The event turned out to be one of their most successful, with many CU members confidently bringing friends and others coming along who they’d never met before. Eva says, ‘Ang’s excitement to share the gospel has motivated us to be more confident in our faith.’
Staff Workers also help students deepen in their faith. And whole CUs become rooted in the gospel.
When Wales went into a firebreak lockdown last year, Staff Worker Meg wanted Swansea CU to 'start their day well' and 'look after themselves'. She invited them to meet each morning on Zoom for three weeks to read one book of the Bible a day – 38 books in total. They called this ‘The Big Read’. 40 students came the first week, and were so encouraged and helped that after the second week they asked if they could carry on. Meg says, ‘I handed over the leading to different students and the week before Easter they finished the whole Bible!’ Student Billy reflected, ‘This was pivotal in my growth.’ The Swansea CU presidents have even made plans to run it again next year and invite all the CUs across Wales to take part.
We are convinced that Staff Workers play a crucial role as the CUs reach out with the gospel. Their support helps the CUs become increasingly confident, creative, prayerful, motivated and effective in mission.
To help the CUs hit the ground running next year, would you consider giving to our spring appeal? By giving even a small amount, you will help put 21 experienced Staff Workers alongside the CUs next year – providing key support, wisdom and encouragement at a crucial time. Give here.
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