Forum 2019: highlights
This August we were joined by over 900 students for our annual CU leaders’ training conference, Forum.
100 years of students inspired to live and speak for Jesus
CUs are student-led, which means that every year we have the privilege of seeing a new cohort of students be inspired and changed as they step up to take the lead in their CUs. We see God growing their hearts for mission, and we see them grow in faith as they take bold and creative steps to share Jesus with their friends. We see fresh ideas and transformational witness as the gospel is proclaimed on universities across Great Britain. And we see these students go on to flourish in a lifetime of living and speaking for Jesus in their workplaces, churches and mission fields.
Many of those stories start at Forum, where we gather CU leaders for training, equipping and to meet with God as they begin the year of mission. This year we celebrated 100 years of Forum with stories from CU members past and present, including a moving interview with long-time co-workers in CU mission Dick and Rose Dowsett and Rosemary Green. Watch it online to hear their advice for current CU leaders, how God continues to move in their lives and how CU witness has been an ongoing part of their stories.
At Forum, we invite students making a difference in the spheres of art, theology, music, science, law and politics to join together for specific training tracks, addressing some of the unique challenges and opportunities that they face.
Our Politics Network Co-Ordinator, Tom Kendall, reflects on how the track enabled students to share ideas to reach their friends:
‘During Forum 2019 I was really encouraged to meet with students from across the UK who were politically minded and were excited to engage with our seminar stream looking at how Christians should engage with the climate change crisis. I was particularly encouraged by those that wanted to meet further and discuss the Politics Network and how they could utilise it to witness to their friends or support fellow politically minded Christians.
One highlight was meeting with Jack from Manchester CU who was studying PPE and had never come across the Politics Network before. Jack attended the Politics Network track every day and was interested in setting up a Network Hub in Manchester. It was a joy to share ideas about how we could utilise lunchbars with a political theme to share the gospel with Manchester University. His passion for pursuing Christ's Lordship in politics was exciting to see. As he explores what career path to follow and how to mobilise his CU to reach the lost it was clear faithfully serving the true king was at the heart of his plans.’
Reaching the world
Universities bring the world to our doorstep. For many students, CU outreach is their first experience of international mission and ministry, and many go on to reach the world through cross-cultural mission in the UK or abroad. At Forum 2019 we were joined by IFES Evangelism Training Coordinator and Director of Revive Europe, Sarah Breuel. Many students responded in prayer to her call to seek God’s call to local and global witness.
An outpouring of gospel witness
Forum provides an opportunity to be refreshed in the gospel before heading back to university for a term of outreach and welcoming new students. One student commented:
‘Forum is not just training on how to be a good CU. It’s how to know the gospel, and from that everything else follows. I was able to see the impact of the gospel in other people’s lives and saw afresh the wonder of it. Sometimes it’s hard to see how God’s goodness is playing out in my life, and at Forum there was opportunity to talk and pray with others.’
Another student shared: ‘I feel super excited to get back and get stuck with evangelism now.’
Join us in praying for CU students during freshers’ week and beyond.