UCCF: Mobilising Christian Union leaders for mission
UCCF is passionate about equipping Christian students to deepen their relationship with God, celebrate the truth of the Bible, and get excited about the power of the gospel to change the world.
From one-to-one Bible studies and small groups led by Christian Union staff workers, to training weekends and a whole host of bespoke digital resources (www.theologynetwork.org and bethinking.org), UCCF is equipping students to live for Jesus and share the gospel on campus.
Forum is UCCF’s annual student leaders’ conference which takes place in September at the Quinta centre in Oswestry. With just under 1000 delegates in attendance, Forum is one of the largest Christian student gatherings in Europe. The vision of the event is to train, equip and mobilise student Christian Union leaders for mission.
Dave Bish, UCCF South West team leader comments, ‘It is UCCF’s conviction that, although skills are useful, nothing compares to a heart that is captivated by the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus to energise, motivate and enthuse students for mission’. To that end, Forum isn’t just about equipping students and training them but helping them fall more in love with Jesus.
Each day was split between Bible teaching and exposition, practical training tracks and interactive workshops. Vaughn Roberts, rector of St Ebbes church in Oxford, delivered the main Bible sessions.
Excited and energised
He commented: ‘It’s been thrilling to see so many students all in one place. Every student I’ve spoken to seem both excited about their Christian faith and energised about the task ahead of reaching a whole new generation of students who will be arriving on campus in the next few weeks’.
During the event students encouraged one another by sharing their stories. Monica,* a student at Cambridge university, shared a story about a Christianity Explored course she was involved with.
She said, ‘I didn’t think anybody would come, because it was the first time I’d been involved with something like this, but two friends came and one of them was a Chinese girl.
‘She didn’t speak much English but she started learning more and more, and over the next six months started reading the Bible herself. Eventually she said that she believed it and became a Christian!’
When asked what they were going to do with what they’d learned, Jenny,* a student at Aberystwyth University, commented: ‘I’ve learned it’s all about grace. God is so good and I do not have to earn his love. I’m so excited to be a Christian!’
Nick, a visual effects student at Hertfordshire University, said, ‘The week’s been wonderful. The talks have all been awesome! I feel really equipped to take the message of Jesus to my university’.
Do pray for Christian Unions across Great Britain. That they would be bold in testifying to the Lord Jesus; and that they would love students well and give every student in Scotland, Wales and England an opportunity to hear about Jesus.
(*Not their actual names)