My time at OCC has been invaluable to my walk of faith over the first two years of university. On top of being part of such a tight-knit community, so passionate about following Jesus, I have really valued the church’s focus on Bible teaching.
Every Sunday the talks are both challenging and intellectually stimulating. We look at the Bible in depth, learning from Jesus’ teaching and example, and processing what this means for us as a family. God’s Word is so exciting and transformational, and it is great to be part of a church which takes scripture so seriously, holding it as the authoritative Word of God. After every Sunday and Student Night we all leave individually and as a group having been encouraged and challenged to live more like Jesus. Importantly, this isn’t just about expanding our intellectual knowledge of the Bible; as a community we are focused on going deeper in the knowledge of our identity in Christ, and growing in character as God equips us to bring his Kingdom on earth.
In this respect, as well as being thoughtful and theologically sound, the teaching we receive at OCC has a distinctively practical edge. Be it practicing the spiritual gifts, sharing the gospel or loving as Jesus loved, there is plenty of opportunity to grow in all areas of discipleship to Jesus. As a church we really value space for group participation in both worship and discussion. There is total freedom to share prophetic words and testimonies and to share thoughts on the Bible. Through this we can dream together and encourage one another as we go out into our university context knowing that we are equipped by God and supported by our brothers and sisters. OCC also has a really strong focus on mentoring. So not only can we apply what we have learned through prayer and discussion in a group context, but we can also chat more specifically about what God is doing in our lives with a ‘personal pastor’. I have certainly benefitted greatly from all these things.
University can be a challenging time, and I think it is so important to be shaped not by what the world values, but by what God says is good and true. OCC is such a great family to learn and grow in this, whether you have been a believer for a long time, have just become a Christian, or are exploring faith for the first time.
Jonny hails from Sheffield, and is going into his third year studying theology at Worcester College.