Youth workers, I admire you. Your time is spread in so many different directions and it’s you who inspires the church leaders of tomorrow. What a thrilling job you have.
I want to urge you to make preparing your school leaver’s for uni a priority, not to simply add it to your to-do list but to make it part of your DNA as a youth group. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of preparation for uni, but with around 99% of students not in church its one of the biggest mission fields available for todays Christian students. 73% of Christian students don’t connect to a church when they get to uni*. With preparation for uni, you dramatically reduce the possibility of that happening.
Why not plan in time in your diary to gather your school leavers together and chat through some big questions about uni culture. Giving students the opportunity to chat through their excitement, fears and thoughts about uni will allow them to start thinking about the kind of person they want to be at uni. A great way of doing this is to hang out in the pub, your local coffee shop or have them over for a takeaway. Give them time and make them feel like its a big deal!
Cover topics like relationships, drinking, opportunities, studying…if you don’t know much about these do not fear! The Student Linkup Sessions cover all of these and more, providing great discussion provoking questions. Why not also invite some current students from your church along to do a Q & A with them, they’ll give a current perspective on the student culture.
Only have one or two heading off to uni each year from your youth group? This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other churches in your local area to run preparation for uni together. It’s also a great chance to cheer each other on in your youth work adventure.
God desires a generation of Christian students who will live in the pressure areas of student culture, who don’t apologise for or hide their faith and who build deep friendships with their fellow students- it’s time that we encouraged our students to do this.
Fusion have great resources available for youth workers in preparation for uni, and I’d love to chat about your preparation for uni whether you have one or twenty one youth heading off to uni.*2011 research by the CUE project found that 73% of Christian Students don’t connect to church at university.
Rosie is the Student Linkup Campaigns Leader for Fusion.