Skip to main content

We need Christian Unions with a Whoever mindset

I recently heard PJ Smyth preach on 1 Chronicles 11-12. There David says, whoever steps up to the fight gets to be the chief. Whoever.

The main plot is a gospel picture of whoever comes gets to come to life in Jesus... could 10,000 CU members introduce five friends each to Jesus through the pages of Luke's gospel this year? The invite is universal... whoever will come can come...

And David gives us a "subplot" picture of whoever steps up to the fight gets to lead the line in mission. People will carry roles and responsibilities in a Christian Union (as with church) but those who step up to the plate and disciple Christians and share Jesus with their friends - those who engage in gospel ministry - will be the leaders... and any leader worthy of their name will rejoice and support that.

The global movement of Christian Unions started when God gave a vision to Norman Grubb, a student involved in the Cambridge Christian Union in 1919. God has grown this work that is refreshed annually by new freshers

A history of the Christian Unions reports on the late statesman of 20th Century Evangelicalism, John Stott (ht: Greg Pye for the reminder):

 "John Stott was a student from 1940 to 1945 and already showed unusual gifts. The CICCU Exec., however, had the sense to send one of their number to tell him that they would not invite him to join the next committee as they believed he should be free from committee meetings. They wanted him to get on with the evangelist and pastoral work in which he was exercising an outstanding ministry.... .... The whole effectiveness of the CICCU depended on the fact that a high proportion of ordinary members, both then and in almost all periods of history, were active in personal evangelism and in helping one another in every way. The committee were very much looked up to and their example was influential; but they were not the CICCU, and the tone of each College group was the major influence."

Stott's example, and that of his CU leaders - says to CU members: leadership isn't a job it's what you do by your example. Stott's example says to CU leaders: create an entrepreneurial culture where people are released to share Christ with one another, be facilitators and liberators and mobilisers.

A year ago I heard of a student called Hannah who had come back into her 2nd year at Uni, she was a hall group leader and wanted to run Student Alpha with some friends. The CU already ran other courses but they didn't have the capacity to reach everyone... so there's always more room at the table. I dived in to offer her support. A year on she coordinates the central evangelistic plans of the CU... but her task will only thrive if the members of the CU take hold of the vision for themselves and lead the line.

The beauty of Christian Unions is that they're grass-roots, student-led... and this year's Uncover Project is fuel for that fire.

Where do we get that freedom? By living in Christ not in ourselves. By looking to Christ not ourselves. And whoever comes to him lives. Live in him like this and we might in this generation grow and serve the church through effective student mission...


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…