Launching into 2020, the leaders of the EU prayed that as part of a whole year of evangelistic fervour, EU small groups might be a place where newcomers and those investigating the claims of Christ, would be warmly welcomed and have God’s word shared with them. Specifically, a goal was set for our prayers – that at least one in five people in every EU small group would be someone who was not a Christian, whom their EU friends might be able to introduce to Jesus.
As student activities on campus were cancelled and classes moved online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it did appear that we’d face significant obstacles to this vision of small groups welcoming lots of non-Christians across this year.
We have seen God at work exceeding our expectations in the number of newcomers who have joined in our small groups right across the EU. Moving these gatherings online has removed the barrier of geographic distance: students have invited friends who study at different campuses or even different universities to join their small group! For the first time, these friends are now able to join! An offer of genuine community has held new appeal for students whose social experience has been rapidly and radically transformed: one international student said going to small group was the longest interaction they’d had with other people in weeks. The new tools the video conferencing platform provides have enabled student leaders to be innovative in the way they lead these groups and teach from God’s word; non-Christians have been able to share their questions and observations about the text in greater depth.
After four weeks of seeking to adapt this precious ministry opportunity so that evangelistic and pastoral opportunities might keep multiplying, we are full of thanks to God that He is already opening new doors and bringing fruit from these efforts.
Please pray with us that God will help us to respond faithfully to the continually changing mission context, and that He will work to bring more people to put their faith in the Lord Jesus through this small group ministry.
Laura Southam, Senior Staff
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