People say that you will find the best friends of your life at university. I don’t know who these people are, but that statement definitely rings true for me.

During freshers’ week, I met Roz and Maddie. Little did I know that over the next three years we would become best friends. We would laugh together, cry together, explore small towns in Italy and adventure around the USA together.

I’m thankful that friendship with Jesus doesn’t end when university does.

We did everything together, so when we moved apart after graduation, it was hard. Really hard. In almost every conversation I would talk about them, share our stories with new friends and take every opportunity I could to introduce them (via Facetime) to new faces.

It was our deep friendship that motivated me to tell new people I met about my experiences with them.

It’s the same with Jesus.

I’m thankful that friendship with Jesus doesn’t end when university does.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20

It’s no mistake that in 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul highlights the connection between friendship with God and being Christ’s ambassadors. Why would you want to share stories about someone if you didn’t like them?

To reconcile means to ‘restore friendly relations’. Simply put, sharing Jesus means a friendship with Jesus. A friendship that still stands after the graduation ceremony.

Perhaps your time at university was filled with faith conversations and friends giving their lives to Jesus, or perhaps it was filled with quite the opposite. Whatever your experience of university was, Jesus calls us into friendship with God, and it’s from that place of intimacy that we can share His heart for the people around us.

So how do we do it?

  1. Spend time with Jesus: Theological discussions and answering peoples’ questions will only take you so far, but it is the visible, undeniable effect that Jesus has on you that will change people’s hearts. At university, I was incredibly disciplined at spending time with Jesus one-on-one. I’d cycle down to the beach before my lectures just to spend time with Him and pray over the day. But when I finished university and started my job, suddenly the calendar got more full, routine was thrown out the window and I found myself more tired in the mornings. Yet, I adapted and found time in the secret place. I was open to changing rhythms, trialling new routines and learning to enjoy Jesus in new ways. It’s likely that your rhythms from university may not translate to working life, and that’s okay. Give yourself grace to trial and error new routines to ensure your friendship with Jesus. Have you ever been in a social situation and had to introduce two people to each other, only to find you can’t remember anything about them, or worse, their name? I have. Don’t be that person. Don’t struggle to introduce Jesus because you haven’t spent enough time with Him to know how to introduce Him well.
  2. Ask God ‘what are their needs?’: It is not your role to meet everyone’s needs, yet being an ambassador of God means we get to signpost to the One who is. For one, the need may be a cure for loneliness. Perhaps you could invite them along to your small group to connect them with friends, or just hang out with them more outside of work? For another, the need may be financial. Perhaps you could invite them over for dinner once a week, or signpost them to Christians Against Poverty? During university, ambassadors are often the ones who introduce new students to the community. Ambassadors for Jesus are no different. They are signposting and introducing a practical way and spiritual way of meeting their friends’ needs.
  3. Embrace inconvenience: Go the extra mile. Be the colleague who stands out, who offers to drive the lady home after her bus is late on a rainy day. Sacrifice a night in in front of Netflix to spend time with work friends outside of the office. Chat with your neighbours when you’re putting the bins out, even though everything in you wants to ignore them and go back inside. Embracing inconvenience in the small, everyday things, will say to people, “you’re worth investing time in”, and is a signpost to the One who calls them worthy.

My challenge to you is simple: even in a season of transition, how can you introduce your friend, Jesus, to your other friends?