Gathering Wider

by Michael Kwan

Christian ministry is like a symphony with three movements. Again and again we gather people so that we can bring the Word of God to bear in their lives and then send them into the world to serve our Lord Jesus: Gather, Grow, Go.

The problem begins when gathering gets hard.

In the past, Christians and those investigating have been gathered into the EU through the Orientation Week carnival. If McCrindle is correct, we should expect 590 full-time undergraduate students who are committed Christians, let alone nominal Christians and those who are keen to investigate1. However, the Student Union’s new policy preventing clubs and societies approaching people seems to have affected us, as has poor weather, resulting in 165 people “signing-up” during the three days of O’Week 2014.

Concerned about the dangerous transition from high school to university, some graduates from the ACES  faculty gathered with friends who had just finished their HSC. Over the summer of 2009 they met weekly to encourage each other in the study of God’s word, build relationships and assist in the transition to Christian groups on campuses. That small gathering has become a weekly gathering of over 220 students and now has meetings on both sides of the harbour. 45 of the students who attended last summer were heading to Sydney Uni, all of them have made it into the EU’s small group ministry. No one was lost!

It’s similar to what Howard Guinness (who pioneered the EU) thought all those years ago2:

“Our first target was the schools, for we believed that a Christian witness in any University was largely dependent on the Christians who joined it from School.”3

Because of difficulties connecting students once they arrive, we in the EU will need to continue thinking outside the box, and building relationships with school, church and camp ministries to connect with students before they arrive on campus.

Please pray for Christian high school students, and let us know about them when they come to University!


[2] Howard Guinness was involved with starting the Crusader Union as well as the Sydney University Evangelical Union

[3] Howard Guinness, Journey Among Students (AIO: Sydney, 1978), p. 67.

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