What's the vision? What's the big idea?
Well here it is...
As a Student ministry as St George’s, we want to build discipling communities, baptize new believers, redeem local culture and send equipped missionaries. We believe this is what God is calling us to if we want to see Jesus make an impact in universities, halls of residences, clubs, societies, and student houses. Its not just about sitting round in holy huddles, this is going to take action, hard work, prayer and courage to go on mission with God, but it’ll be an incredible journey.
Build Discipling Communities.
We want the student ministry at St G’s to be a place of community and belonging. When moving off to a new city to study for 3,4 or 5 years, it can be very daunting and so we want our student ministry to have many access points and places of gathering. Of course there’s the big evening service where 300 young adults gather from across the city to worship God, receive some incredible teaching and press into prayer. But we also want places on a slightly smaller scale, where you can know others and be known. We call these networks. From September, we’re launching 5 networks across the student ministry. Each of these will have it’s own flavour and feel. We want these mid-sized communities to be the primary place of belonging for their members. But its no good having little friendship groups, we want these groups to have a purpose. We want these groups to be that place that students are disciple and come to know Jesus, maybe for the first time, maybe just better. We’ll do this through good, solid and engaging biblical teaching, small group discussions, Academy of Life course material and a load of other stuff.
We support the vision of discipling communities throughout the year with network input, weekends away, termly parties, Student Teas, leaders training and the 1830 Service.
Baptize New Believers
It’s no good saying we follow Jesus and want to put him at the centre of our lives if we ignore some of what he said. In His last words, he commanded his disciples to baptise people. And so that’s what we want to do. We want to see students get baptised into the family of God and make public declarations of their allegiance to Jesus. And not only do we want to baptise people who have been following Jesus for a while but never got round to baptism, but we want to go and seek out new believers to join the family. We want the student communities to be centres of mission, to go out and share the love of Jesus and forgiveness of God with all those around them so that new brothers and sisters can be added to the family through the waters of baptism. We want to join God on His mission of bringing people into relationship with a Heavenly Father.
This will happen in loads of different and creative ways. It’ll happen through services, Alpha courses, June Project, CU, evangelistic events, invites and prayer.
Redeem Local Culture
We love hanging out as Christians, but just as a boat is safe in the harbor, it is designed for the sea, we want to see our students out in the world making a difference, taking a stand for the gospel of Jesus, leading thought and influencing culture for the glory of God. We don’t just want to create a bunch of great small group bible study leaders, but we want to train, encourage, resource and empower a generation to be leaders in teaching, physics, business, engineering, finances, art and whatever other sphere of culture there is. We want students to know that they are undercover agents of change wherever they are, and to have the necessary skills and confidence to affect that change as God prompts them to.
This will be done through leaders training, network input, one-to-one discipleship, and actually putting on events that display this kind of living.
Send Equipped Missionaries
Time as a student is precious and fleeting. All too quickly the term is over, or the degree is finished, and its time to find a job. Well we don’t want to stop our Student ministry there. We want each student that is part of St G’s to feel sent and equipped to be an ambassador for Jesus wherever they go, whether that is working a 9-5 job in the big city after graduation, working in a café over the holidays, setting up a charity in Leeds or even going overseas as a missionary. We want to be able to equip our students for whole life discipleship and ministry, and to send students out with cheers of support and joy to whatever they encounter after their time at St G’s.
We do this through practice together, a year’s Church Internship, our Saturday School of Theology and specialised seminars.
We really believe this is how we’re going to see the Kingdom of God grow in Leeds and beyond. It’s going to take risk, some stuff is going to fail, some stuff is going to be awkward and some stuff is going to be hilariously fun. But God’s going to be with us as we go on this adventure of making Jesus known in Leeds, on the University campuses and in the lives of students.