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Neil Paxton

So what is it you do?

‘So what is it you do?’
It's the dreaded question we Relay Workers so often get asked. I’m a month in and I’m still unsure what I ‘do’ from day to day, but I think I’ll spend the entire 10 months of the Relay programme figuring that out!

So instead of panicking as I look forward to this year, why not reflect on the privilege and joy this first month on Relay has been?

We started our year at Relay Orientation with a week of training down in the Quinta centre, somewhere near Wales. (I'm not sure if we made it to Wales or not on our free-time-wanders, but it was beautiful wherever we were!) What an incredible start: getting to spend a week alongside the team for this year, learning about God’s immense grace for us.

The teaching itself was incredibly challenging. It often made me uncomfortable, as it brought to the front just how unworthy of everything I am. But it was so encouraging to realise that while on my own merit I am unworthy, my qualification comes solely from what Christ did for me. This means I can rest in the assurance that I am a child of God, and nothing I do affects that in any way! Even just writing this out again is reminding me of how exciting that truth is!

We dug deep into this truth through amazing teaching from great speakers, as well as through meeting every morning in smaller fellowship groups to study Colossians. What an encouragement this was: learning how to analyse Bible passages deeply, and how to then communicate that well to others, in order to help them engage with it. From that week came a greater appreciation for the treasure that the Bible is. What a joy to be able to study the Word of God, to humble myself before it, and to allow it to teach and shape me.

Back in Strathclyde a week later, freshers' week hit. Thankfully, I managed to have a few days off before it began, because what a busy week it was! I was hugely thankful and encouraged by the CU’s clear commitment and by the sheer amount of events they put on during the week. It wasn't just about quantity: all the events were aimed at introducing people to the God who longs for relationship with us! Simply running lots of events loses all meaning if we forget why we are doing this, and so although I was encouraged by their willingness to put on so much, I am far more encouraged by the heart behind it. It is so exciting to see a group of people who want their peers to know the same God they love and serve.

So I might not be able to give a succinct answer to explain what exactly it is Relay workers do, but I am excited to continue to work that out. And while I do, I get to spend the next 10 months surrounded by such inspiring peers up and down the country, who long to share this same God with the students around them.

Relay is our mission, training and discipleship scheme for graduates who love CUs. Neil Pexton is a recent graduate from Stratclyde University, where he now supports the Christian Union as a Relay Worker. 

Could Relay be for you? Applications for 2018-19 are now open. Find out more.

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