An Alternative Vision

by Caz Andrews

The “Is Jesus…” festival, EU’s evangelistic mission is just around the corner, set to begin on Monday (week three). Students and staff have been spending lots of time talking and reading apologetics. How can we best defend the gospel in this increasingly secular age, amongst Gen Y and Gen Z students? Our job is to continue thinking of better and smarter ways to share the gospel and to gain traction.

In particular, we have been thinking through how to create an alternative vision for life, based around the good news of the gospel. Students seem to face a lot of pressure and in my eighteen years on campus, it appears the pressure has increased. The pressure to do well at uni, to earn money through a part time job or internship, to fill up the CV with experiences, to save money, to get a good job, to buy real estate in Sydney. Some of these pressures may seem familiar to you and your student experience, but there is a concerning intensity that has increased. I know that during my uni years, I have very occasionally thought about getting a job, let alone entertain the thought of buying real estate.

The other pressures also come where there is so much pressure to work out who you are, especially on a campus that promotes self-identity. Not only who you are going to be, but other aspects such as your gender and sexual identity also become increasingly relevant. While there is a freedom in being able to decide who you want to become, it is often weighed down by the responsibility to make these choices.

As I talk to students, both Christian and non-Christian, they are often overwhelmed by the burden of this responsibility. What should they rely on, or are all the options just a subjective “mish-mash”? What does the gospel have to say? Is there an alternative vision? The challenge of the “Is Jesus…” Festival is to help our campus see that in Jesus, it is possible to find life and life to the full. We hope to paint a picture of life in Christ that is both compelling and attractive for people. Through the gospel, we want to share a life where your identity is anchored yet freed\. In Jesus, we want to help them see a master worth serving, a friend who lays down his life and a saviour who offers security and loves unconditionally.

Please pray for the “Is Jesus…” festival, that people might find an alternative vision, a better vision in the Lord Jesus.

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