Rose is 17, a young leader and pioneering change in her college.
Hi, my name is Rose, I am 17, and I live and go to college in Somerset. I had never really had that much of an interest in Christian Unions up until recently. I never used to go to the one at my secondary school, always making up excuses because I felt like I had better things to do with my Wednesday lunchtimes. So when I felt like God was directing me to set one up in my second year at college, needless to say I felt a little at sea.
I go to church in Yeovil. Once every other month all of the youth groups from the churches in and around Yeovil get together at an event called Unite, for teaching and worship. Usually at some point during the evening we would be encouraged to get into our Christian Unions and pray for our school or college, me and my friends would be put in the ‘Other’ group because our college was the only one without a CU. This had never really bothered me up until the Unite at the start of October this year. I remember thinking: Why don’t we have a CU? My answer at the time was that our college was too far from Yeovil for any of our youth workers to come out and run it for us. During the worship this idea of a Christian Union at my college wouldn’t go away. I started to wonder if the students could run one. If maybe I could see if people would at least be interested.
I spoke to a few Christians I knew at my college who said they would go to a CU if I set one up, it seemed like something that could work. I felt like God was in this idea. I asked my youth worker about it; she said that I should go for it and that she would be praying. So I sent a group Facebook message to the few Christians I knew at my college, saying that I’d had this idea for a CU, what did they think, and if they liked the idea, what day would they be free. To my surprise people added other Christians they knew to the chat, so that the number of people tripled, and everyone loved the idea!
The next day my friend and I went to see the Student Support officer at our College. I was super apprehensive so I got everyone on the Facebook chat, and my youth group praying for it. Again to my surprise, he loved the idea and was keen to get it set up. The very next Monday I found myself in a room with 13 other Christians making plans for what our Christian union would look like.
We decided that we would take it in turns to plan sessions each week. Which was a great relief for me, because a: - I am in my final A Level year, which takes up a fair amount of my time, and b: - I hadn’t been to a CU before and so had no idea what to plan!
As you can tell by the dates of when this all happened, my college has had a Christian Union for less than two months. However we have certainly covered a lot in that time. Every other week we tackle a ‘Big Question’ – and issue or question, which people who aren’t Christians often ask us about. The few we have covered include: why God allows suffering, and homosexuality. We discus it, talking about our own opinions and ideas, aiming to equip ourselves with well thought out answers, as far as we can. Every other week we take it in turns to lead a session about something we are passionate about. Like last week when we wrote Christmas cards to persecuted Christians around the world. As well as this, each week we alternate who brings snacks and who plans a game. Our Christian union is certainly a team effort!
If you are currently thinking about setting up a Christian Union at your school, college, or university, I would say go for it. You don’t even have to start it up alone. Talk to your friends about it and see if they would be up for helping you run it. The greater the Christian presence we can get in our places of education the better. Why not give it a go?