Starting university is a really significant time in life and full of so many changes. At the same time, there are so many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus. To help you do this and live out your faith, here are five top tips we pray you find helpful.
1. Join a church
Being plugged into a church family where you will be taught God's word faithfully is essential whilst at university. Why not make contact with a church even before arriving at university? Listen to the advice of people you trust who know the area well and know what is important to look for in a university church, rather than making a decision for superficial reasons. Avoid church surfing for too long – take in the church scene and commit to one early, regardless of all the free meals you could get!
2. Be a follower of Jesus from day one
You can quite literally reinvent yourself at university. Who do you want to be known as? What do you want to be known for? Start the first few weeks calling yourself a Christian, living for Jesus, speaking about your Christian life then that’s how you will be known. It’s so much easier starting this way than trying to fit in with everyone and then squeeze Jesus in a few months later. Start boldly and honestly and you'll be amazed at the opportunities that come.
3. Be committed to your sport
University provides some of the best sporting experiences of your life, but every coach wants good commitment and attitude from the start. Show how much you love your God-given gift of sport by being committed to training and the club from the off.
4. Be ready for initiations
In 1 Peter chapter 2, Peter calls the recipients of the letter, in light of their identity as God's set apart people (v 9-10), to live distinctively for God among those who don't believe (v 11-12), even when it's tough. What does it look like to live distinctively in an initiation, not getting drunk (Ephesians 5 v 18) but living with self-control?
Initiations might prove a challenge, however, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid them. Why not speak to the captain or social sec before the initiation night explaining how you don’t want to get drunk but still want to be involved? Why not suggest an alternative to alcohol? (Previous examples include salad cream, milk and cat food!)
5. Make disciples
Jesus gives His followers this task in Matthew 28 v 18-20. New starts, quality time, halls meals, library sessions, open minds all get thrown into the ring of ‘university life’. However as you start to find your feet, you soon realise that your new stage of life actually provides you with one of the greatest opportunities to explain the good news of Jesus with people who might never have heard it before. So go for it, knowing that Jesus will be with us always!
We will publish a blog written by Durham student Katrina Bass entitled 'Why you should join a University Group' on Thursday, September 29.