During the end of May and beginning of June, our CCP team spent time adjusting to the UK and learning how to be ministry competent in this culture. Meanwhile, our English counterparts were revising and taking their final exams at their respective Unis. Now, both groups have come together and are participating in a program we call the Sheffield Leadership Project (SLP).
about the project
At Campus Outreach, our mobilization strategy is organized around the “lost worlds” graduates will find themselves in after college; back to the college campus, the neighborhood and workplace, and/or cross-cultural, overseas missions. The first ever Sheffield Leadership Project stays true to this strategy. It is an immersion experience focused on the word, community and people of God. The Project includes the CCP team, a group of six university students that study in Sheffield and one student who commuted from Brighton. The English and American students will spend the summer living together, getting training on evangelism and discipleship, and putting that into practice through ministering to various communities in Sheffield.
These SLP objectives gel with The Crowded House core values as well. The SLP has been an investment opportunity where we train and develop in three major Christian areas: word, community and mission. TCH ministry team’s main concern has been, and continues to be, that the SLP would see Jesus as more wonderful, more beautiful, and more glorious than anything else. God has enabled this to happen by His Spirit, and for that we are very thankful. I personally have learned a lot about what it looks like to do mission as an SLP community. It has been such a privilege to do ministry alongside God’s people in a place like Sheffield. Mission was never meant to be done alone, and being part of the SLP has grounded that reality for me in a number of ways. We hope that the SLP is an effort to live out an Acts 6:7 reality: “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
During evangelism training, Andrew Knight challenged the SLP team to describe the gospel and how it applies to your life in one to two sentences. I have quoted some of the responses from my British teammates:
1) Kimbrah Watts’ experience of church life and what she was told about God never fit into the way she wanted to live. But when Kimbrah moved away from home for Uni, she realized how relevant and necessary Jesus’ sacrifice was for her. Because of Jesus’ actions, like his death and resurrection, Kimbrah is secure in his love and forever changed.
2) Francesca Gan believes all people find their identity in something. For Fran, it used to be following rules or a religious code. But Fran was never satisfied with her life, self or other people until she found her ultimate identity in something that will always satisfy – Jesus.
3) John Granford just became a Christian three weeks ago. Praise God! John said it was hard to sum up his testimony in a sentence, but if he could it would be: “My faith in Christianity is like Wi-Fi. It is invisible, but it has the power to connect me to what I truly need in life.”
4) Becky Knight believed in God since she was a child, but it has only been over the past year that she truly came to realize her need for a savior. Becky believes this is because of the selfishness and sin that was and can be in her heart. “Jesus lived the perfect human life and died the perfect death so that I could be set free from sin. He is my savior!”
5) Sophie Jones understood God’s grace as the sending of His son to take her judgment. By God’s grace, Sophie turned away from herself and toward Jesus, knowing it was because of him that she is redeemed and adopted into God’s family.
6) Dave Stewart was 15 when he had strong doubts whether there was a god or not. Dave’s skepticism towards the Gospel continued for another five years. Even in this season, Dave read THE book (the Bible) where he encountered the truth of Jesus Christ. Today Dave believes, “A godless worldview is an untenable position.”
Please join us in prayer as we take on a full load of ministry-minded activities this week….
- Please pray for the students participating in the SLP this summer! Pray especially for them to grow in their love for Christ and desire to see him known and enjoyed in Sheffield.
- Pray that the Lord would continue to work where He is clearly already working, and that the speaking of Jesus’ name with Uni students would not return void.
- Pray for the lost students who are excited about hanging out with us during our events: TCH gatherings, worldview nights, Thursday BBQs, the English language tutoring center, and other spontaneous events.
- Pray we would build bigger hearts for ministering to the international students attending the Uni of Sheffield for the summer and/or the next years of their life.
- Pray for the students who have expressed interest in learning about the gospel while visiting with our team.
- Pray for the students who are open to talking about the existence of God, the legitimacy of Christianity and the implications of faith.
- Finally, please pray for team unity, grace upon grace, and love to "cover a multitude of sins..."
Much thanks to our fabulous photographer: Alli Wood! Click through the slides.