Transition: Coffee, Study and Books

biblereadingWhat does a staff worker do all day?

Drink Coffee.
Study the bible with students (Christian and those seeking)
And read copious amounts of books…

There is more to it then that, but in a tight nutshell, you could boil the years as a staff worker down to those things and throw in the travel that goes between them.

It has been a privilege to have the time and space to do those things. To spend hours preparing a bible study that will help my students gaze upon Jesus. Looking intently at scripture, opening commentaries and praying for insight as we prep notes and ideas to help students engage with the text. I love the fact that my job is to read the bible…

Now drinking coffee is important. It has to be good coffee. It’s the only way to get through the day, especially the afternoon. Coffee shops became my office and my students knew it! If I asked to meet up with them, they knew it was going to be in a certain coffee shop in town… Welcome to my office. It got to the point where I would walk into the coffee shop and they would know my order before I even asked! Coffee is indeed, a pleasing aroma…

I don’t know how many books I have read over the years, but I have a whole bookcase of books that have been generously given to me and most of them I haven’t read yet! But its been wonderful to have the space to sit and read and get into good theological books, making my brain hurt and fuelling good conversations with friends. Some of my favourite books over the years have been:

  • The Good God – Mike Reeves
  • Serving without Sinking – John Hindley
  • A New Name – Emma Scrivener
  • Popologetics – Ted Turnau
  • Desiring the Kingdom – James K A Smith

Wonderful books that have challenged me, shaped me and it was part of my job to read them! Although none of these things need to stop next year, I just wanted to share my appreciation of having this opportunity and also all the free books. Thanks IVP!

 

Unity in the Christian Union

Something greatly unique about Christian Unions is that what makes up the CU are students from all backgrounds/churches and theologies. This can make it quite fun and also quite challenging. In CU this week, we did a bible study on what Unity looks like in CU and why Unity is important.

Firstly we watched the “Together People” video from UCCF.

The biggest question is why is Unity important? This will probably be more of an issue in CU then in church, because generally churches attract like-minded people and theology, where as CU does not. So it is important to clarify why Unity is important..

Lets have a look at:

Psalm 133v1How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity

John 17v20-23For Christians to be one as he and Father are one (he says it three times so we don’t miss it – he wants us to be one!). WHY? because when we are one we show that the Father has sent the son and he loves us. We show more of the love in the trinity and the love the Father has for us by being united…

So as we are united it will attract people to Christ! Imagine the effect of that.

What does unity look like? Well firstly, what are we united around?…It must be Christ, we must be united around Christ. What does it look like when we are united around Christ? Looking at 1Cor12:12-26 and Ephesians 4:1-6…

No division (1Cor12v25), Caring and loving the weak (1Cor12v22-23), suffer together and rejoice together (1Cor12v26),  humble and gentle (Eph 4v2) Bearing with one another (4v2), Make every effort (Eph 4v3), not be led astray by false teaching (Eph 4v14), Speaking truth in love (Eph 4v15) Grow up into him who is the head, Christ (4v16)

It looks amazing! It looks attractive. When Christ and the Gospel is central then we can be united, caring, loving gentle, making every effort to be united and thus the goal will always be to show Christ because he will be pouring out of us as we gather round him and center round him.

  • How does that affect our mission?
  • How will that affect us when we disagree with each other and don’t like the way something is done?

If Christ is the focus. Then the attention is off ourselves, which means we lay aside some of those secondary issues, we lay aside our negative attitudes and we make ever effort to encourage and work in unity towards the same goal – making Christ known on campus. There is a cost in this, it means what you think wont be as important, it means you will have to lay down some of your ideas and not grumble. But if the focus is Christ, then we die to ourself and we don’t crush the weak brother/sister, but we lift them up and encourage them.

Unity can win people to Christ, by showing some of his beauty and splendour in how he loves us and how he wants his name known.

Note – Thank you to Brian for giving me his notes about this…!!