The noise, the distraction, the multitudes of people surrounding me, all of it seemed to fade away. I sensed a presence, familiar, yet not of this world. It spoke to me, affirming me as a son, showing me, for the first time, what it means to be me.
In an unlikely field somewhere near Shepton Mallet, I encountered Jesus for the first time. God rocked my world. In one moment, I was changed – I had met the God of the universe!
My hopes, my dreams, my desires, my outlook were all re-orientated toward Jesus Christ. When I arrived at university, my eyes were wide open, staring at all the opportunities in front of me; people everywhere that didn’t know the gospel, yet were hungry to know what life was all about.
I was fortunate to be caught up in church culture that had made mission normal.
I very quickly entered a rhythm of mission in my first year that felt normal, and part of what students did as Christians. In a wonderfully mission-focused church, I was taught how to share my faith, pray for people, and tell my testimony. I soon found myself at nightclubs, halls of residences and among the broken of the city, eager to share the hope of Jesus. Mission quickly felt like any other part of normal university life and, like many others, I was fortunate to be caught up in church culture that had made mission normal.
Little did I know that graduation would show me how important those structures and routines were to establishing a rhythm of sharing my faith. As I left university, I couldn’t help but feel that my opportunities for mission had reduced. In actual fact, however, the opportunities were all around – it was just time for a perspective change.
We must realise mission is a way of life, not a series of activities.
The truth is, at university, I was mostly involved with organised mission. There’s nothing wrong with that – mission is often best done together – but it was common to ‘do mission’ as a group, and suddenly I no longer had that same group structure. Part of the graduation process is to recognise we are invited into a bigger story of God’s mission beyond the societies and outreaches we are used to as students. We must realise mission is a way of life, not a series of activities. Regular rhythms of church based mission are important, but we must learn not to rely on them.
For a lot of us, it’s quite a shift to keep mission central as we transition from student life to graduate life, so here are some things that I’ve found helpful on this journey:
- Find your people: Wherever you find yourself post-graduation, get plugged into a church and surround yourself with brothers and sisters already engaging in mission. You’ll be spurred on by one another, and affirmed that God is already on the move. Join in with what God is already doing.
- Think about your spheres of influence: These are not so obvious post-uni, but over time it’s likely you’ll be interacting with the same groups of people on a regular basis. Connect with people at your workplace and those living on your street. Ask God how you can serve them.
- Take risks: Like anything, mission requires practice. Sharing faith can be natural, instinctive and fun when you start to step out and give it a go! At Fusion, we created a resource that has helped thousands of people find out how they most naturally share their faith. Take the test here.
- Ask God for vision: Since beginning working life, I’ve found it helpful to be intentional about being in the quiet with God and hearing His voice, through meditating on the word and prayer. This is where you’ll receive God’s vision for your life and community, this is sacred and special time so carve some out!
Jesus invites us to see Him in our workplace, our living environment and whatever sphere of influence He places us in. He is moving in all of those spaces, all of the time, if only we look for Him. When we extend our vision to share Jesus in the day-to-day to our neighbours, barbers and baristas, we see the person God puts in front of us and start to live out the words of Mark 12:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.