So…you’ve got your A Level results. You now know what uni you’re going to. Your heart is racing at a million beats per minute because you’re excited and nervous all the the same time. You got it all going on, right?
Yup…it’s all true. These next few months are set to bring a massive change in your life. The move to university is nothing short of stratospheric! Moving away from home, making new friends, learning to do life without mum and dad always being close by, starting your new course…..there is an insane amount of stuff to take in…and that’s before the month of October even finishes!
No doubt you’ve heard lots of ‘tips’ on how to survive at uni, most of which are really helpful. Then there’s the ‘heads up’ stuff about what to watch out for, like how to keep yourself safe, how to budget, how to stay alive (btw, the latter is REALLY important, ok!!) There are lots of great articles and blogs out there which I don’t need to add to.
HOWEVER…..if you would permit me to give you just one piece of advice before you head off to uni, then I’d say this – ‘Get planted in a really great local church.’
I’m not merely suggesting you find a church to attend on Sunday’s. No. I mean…get yourself PLANTED in a really great church. What do I mean? Well, this is all about immersing yourself in a community that draws out the greatness in you. After all, that’s God’s heart for your life. The idea of being planted means developing strong roots. This is how you will TRULY grow.
Since we first pioneered the Junction Church, our heart has always been to create a home away from home for students. So we’ve developed a culture which is safe enough for students to feel loved – but daring enough to create opportunities for risk. See, the problem with a lot of the stuff we hear today about ‘discipleship’ is that it’s far too theoretical and risk averse. The unwitting message it sends is… ‘get your life sorted out and then start following Jesus’. But this isn’t messy enough for me. See, if faith is a journey, then you’ve got to get moving, even through the sludge of life. That means doing stuff – serving, getting involved, playing your part. Yes, you’ll mess up. Yes, you’ll get things wrong. Yes, you’ll make loads of mistakes. But in a loving environment, there is a lot of grace for you. This is where you find out how God’s love for you is constant and real. This is where you grow in faith and confidence. This is the kind of gritty atmosphere that will draw greatness in you.
We offer loads of stuff for students here at the Junction Church. In fact, you’ll rarely hear us even refer to you as a ‘student’ because here, you’re simply part of the family, not an outsider. We host Sunday lunches, mid-week life groups, leadership development, in depth teaching on theology, worship community, daily devotions, social action projects, hang outs in homes around the area and a whole array of other stuff too. Here, you never have to do life on your own. We are absolutely passionate about championing you to become everything God has called you to be. It’s the very heart of who we are.
So, if you’re coming to Loughborough, Leicester or Nottingham, do yourself a favour and be sure to check us out. If you like the vibe, get yourself planted and we will cheer you on all the way.
So that’s my one piece of advice. Get yourself planted. That’s how you’ll flourish. (Ps 92:13).