At this stage in the year students often ask us: What is important in choosing a church when I move on? How do I keep growing as a Christian after uni? How can I use my life and work in God’s kingdom?
I've just come back from 10 days in Africa, where I was serving in my role as 'Operations Director' for our international Salt & Light family of churches, at our biannual conference, this time in Nairobi, Kenya. I've seen again the value of diversity, which is what this blog is about! For more on what I learned from the conference, read my blog a few days ago.
I have just returned from Kenya, where it was a great privilege to be part of a contingent of UK delegates attending the International Leaders Conference 2018 for the Salt & Light International family of churches.
My name is Andy and I'm a Physicist. Confession over. Well, I was. In what now seems like a former life, I read Physics at Teddy Hall (Oxford) and then did a DPhil thesis in something that I now struggle to even understand the title of!
One of the prophetic images I've been carrying for the student ministry at OCC, is that of a flywheel. I mentioned this recently, and someone (maybe a humanities student?!) said "What is a flywheel?", so I thought I needed to explain what I saw and what I think God is saying.
We are convinced that the gospel works in every people-group, culture and era. In our city, we believe we are called to plant a community for every community - an expression of church in reach of every bus-route, so that people of all nations, tribes, peoples and languages (Rev 7:9) can find a place of worship before God's throne.
This is one of a series of 3 blogs explaining our approach to student ministry. We've talked about being part of a movement, how that connects with Fusion, and in this last blog I want to explain more about our values of 'church-based student mission'.
Our convictions, actually, are not really about just student mission, but mission and ministry in general. We believe that mission and ministry is supposed to be part of the task of the local church, where community, mission, discipleship and worship can be integrated, holistic and sustainable.
I came up to Oxford in 1985. At the time there was little in the way of charismatic, Holy-Spirit-filled life in the church. St Aldates at the time was led by Michael Green (now an elder-statesman in the church, who we are delighted is coming to speak at OCC in the autumn) - one had to queue for entry, such was the level of excitement as Michael led the church in the life of the Holy Spirit. There was a small charismatic house church somewhere in Botley, and an odd, itinerant and therefore hard-to-track-down group of Christians called Oxford Community Church.