Life beyond Graduation

Really excited to be working with UCCF in the Midlands to help equip students to get a vision for life beyond university. Here’s the rough cut of script I recorded today for students going to the Midlands new leaders training weekend this week.

Friends there’s a national crisis in the church with what has become known as the missing generation. Christians aged between 20 and 30 are the least likely to attend church across the UK. In fact nationally they are half as likely to go to church as any other age group. According to the godfather of evangelical statistics – if you zoom back in time to a Sunday school of ten 0-9 year olds twenty years ago only three of them are still connecting with church today. That means somewhere along the line we are losing our young people – these losses are so extreme that you someone on the Titanic had a better chance of survival that a young person in our churches has of their faith surviving into adult hood.

Many of us will know Christians that dropped out of faith in the transition from primary to secondary schools, many will know mates whose faith didn’t make it to university. Sadly many of my mates faith didn’t last beyond university. The transition from university life to the rest of life is a tough one – I would say it’s a bigger jump than what you experienced from coming up to uni. I am a big fan of CU’s because they do a great job of helping students work out what their faith looks like while they are at uni. I can look back and see that I grew so much when I was a student leader. Sadly many final year students drop out of CU and we lose the opportunity to help envision and encourage them for life beyond university. We must not miss the chance we do have to equip students to not just survive life beyond university but thrive. University should be a time of preparation – so you come out of the cocoon of student life and stretch your wings and fly.

But these depressing stats are not the main reason I need your help. Friends there’s a nation that needs the gospel. We need to be helping a good news revolution to be taking place in every town and city across the UK. We need Christians equipped to bring change and hope in every sector of our society. In the last couple of years we have seen a loss of trust in almost every major institution – the banks, our politicians, the NHS, the BBC, sport and now even the food chain.

Now more than ever we need Christians leaders who are strong enough in their faith to shine like stars in the universe as they hold out the word of truth.[quote_left]Now more than ever we need Christians leaders who are strong enough in their faith to shine like stars in the universe as they hold out the word of truth.[/quote_left] We need Christians who are intent on using all of their resources to live and speak well of Christ – bringing not just transformed lives through people coming to faith – but a transformed society as Christians stand up and make a difference in their workplace. When you think of the thousands of Christians that graduate universities across the nation every year, decade after decade its suprising that we are not making a bigger impact on the nations media, politics, health care system, cinema, music, social care system. Its time to start a good news revolution and I need your help to do it.

[quote_simple]”There is not a square inch
in the whole domain of our human existence
over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all,
does not cry: ‘Mine!'”[/quote_simple]

We are going to pilot something in the Midlands that; God willing. will not just help students in the Midlands but become a model across the UK. We are planning a roadshow to help students get a vision for using the whole of their lives for the glory of God. Its about helping everyone from freshers to finalists get a vision for God’s call on their life beyond university and to start getting ready for it now.

We are going to involve the student leaders in helping us craft the programme of the roadshow – would love your input in what else we should include.

For more resources equipping the church for the missing generation check out Final and Threads and Missing Generation.

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5 thoughts on “Life beyond Graduation”

  1. Hi Krish,

    I’m convinced that one very practical way to help Christian students remain involved in churches and keep running the race is to NOT have student-only Bible study / small groups in churches. I love CUs (speakling as a former Relay worker and IFES worker). Individual CUs and UCCF events more widely are great at equipping students for university and the theory of life afterwards, but they don’t give students any impression of the kind of challenges they will face afterwards in the world of work.
    Perhaps more importantly, any student-only group is transitory. Once the student has graduated there is no group to return to, most of their peer group moves on and the connection to their church is largely gone (in terms of the people who really know and will pray for them).

    Instead, I’d like to see more groups that have all ages, which include students. This way, when a student graduates, they still have a group to return to. Even if they leave the city, the group will hopefully be in contact with them and praying for them, and is probably older and might even have connections with churches wherever the student has gone. My home group has a few students, recent grads, and people who never went to uni, and we think it works well (partly our church is too small to run a dedicated student programme). We’re sharing prayer requests about difficult clients, family issues, CU mission weeks, world mission and how we can be a light in all these situations. I think it helps the students in our groups realise that being at university really is one of the best and easiest times of their life, even as a Christian.

    In a transitory world, home groups can be place that provides real roots.

    1. Thanks Adam, interesting point. I think there is room for a mixed economy of student only groups, peer mentoring, cross-generational mentoring and whole church involvement. I don’t there is a magic bullet approach to this. For some students what you are suggesting may be very helpful but a lot depends on the house groups and how they are lead. I have written about the need for a more multigenerational church here.

  2. There are many good ideas there, Krish. Why am I not surprised! I love the notion of helping ‘students get a vision to using the whole of their lives for the glory of God’. In fact, I’d like to transfer that to the wider population of the UK, to help everyone grasp that vision and engage in making it real.

    I came across this post about potatoes earlier today – https://plus.google.com/109418295508894367525

    The author, Beau Crosetto, is onto something – a harvest we don’t see, ready for gathering.

  3. Fusion UK is another great resource for students looking to grow in discipleship at university. As a member of a church which sees in excess of 100 students each sunday, Fusion have been really helpful in supporting how we provide for them during their student days and support them to flourish outside of life as an undergraduate.

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