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Unstoppable immovable

John Clarke

What if an unstoppable force didn’t stem from the culture of today, what if an Unstoppable Force came from a generation of students whose hearts were filled with love, compassion and justice that sought to redeem the world.

One of my favourite films is Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In the film, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, Batman faces his Arch-nemesis the Joker. In the chaotic, relentless action of the film the famous rivalry is described as ‘An Unstoppable Force, meets an Immovable object.’ Who could possibly win this battle? The Joker desires to see complete Chaos, and Batman won’t compromise on his convictions not to kill.

‘An Unstoppable Force, meets an Immovable object.’

Maybe you are reading this and are going to University this year for the first time! Maybe you are a student worker and have been slogging away at pastoring students for a number of years. Maybe you are a Church leader and have seen and experienced what it means to lead students and the chaotic, messy, beautiful job that can be.

Whatever your situation, I want to extend to you an invitation.

Join me on the adventure of reaching a generation of students that don’t know Jesus, and tell them about Him.

The invitation is simple… To join me on the adventure of reaching a generation of students that don’t know Jesus, and tell them about Him.

For many Christians heading to University, student culture seems like an unstoppable force.

Completely liberal, the overarching attitude of ’if it feels good, do it’ has permeated every area of campus. The drinking / party culture is huge, there is massive pressure to succeed and yet students never have enough time. Free speech is encouraged, except when the masses don’t like what is said. In the midst of the excitement, expectation, studying and partying there are hundreds of things vying for our attention and our affection. How on earth are students meant to follow Jesus in the face of this unstoppable force?

The reality of this unstoppable force [Student culture] is that it over-promises and under-delivers.

It really is an unstoppable force. Or is it?

The reality of this unstoppable force is that it over-promises and under-delivers.

It claims to provide satisfaction and happiness, peace and fun.

And yet I have met countless students over the years that have come our way because they are sick and tired of a life of emptiness. The ground beneath their feet has completely disappeared and they are desperately searching for meaning, purpose and truth. They are searching for an immovable object. They are searching for something they can stand on, something they can give their life to, something that will hold them and not let go.

This thing… is us.

The local Church is…designed to be that immovable object, holding fast to the word of God, filled with the Holy Spirit.

The local Church. This is who we are and what we do. We are designed to be that immovable object, holding fast to the word of God, filled with the Holy Spirit. We are an immovable object. Or are we?

As we know more and more in our time and turn, that this generation can not merely talk about Jesus they must live out the very thing they profess. A message God spoke to me about a few years ago was: ‘You’re not stuck in traffic you are the traffic,’ feels more poignant than ever. We can’t blame the world for what’s happening. We must see that if we are not part of the solution we are still inadvertently part of the problem.

In amongst the emotions of heading into university life, it still feels like for a follower of Jesus that it’s about surviving rather than thriving at University.  This is something we can be sure of though, God’s light shines at its very best in the midst of the darkness. It comes down to an issue of discipleship which then effects our mission. We live in an age where there are multiple voices competing for our followership. Whether it be on the TV, film, internet, what we read, the culture is continually competing for our attention. Multiple stories if you like. If we don’t decide what our story is we will inevitably follow someone else’s story.

If we don’t decide what our story is we will inevitably follow someone else’s story.

I believe that as we try and live out another story, God’s story, we unconsciously end up leading. Not through ambition or ego but through the simple truth that we are trying to bring something, namely the kingdom of God, which is the antithesis to the culture we live in.

So every Christian student arrives at university ultimately with a choice. Who do I follow? If you follow the world then we will be led further and further away from the destiny God has for us to bring transformational change to our communities. BUT if we decide and resolve in our hearts to follow Christ and his Cause and His Story, we will lead in exemplifying the culture you want to create. You will lead in inculcating a way which is counter cultural. You will lead in holiness. You will lead in witness. You will lead in bringing hope and creativity.

If we decide and resolve in our hearts to follow Christ and his Cause and His Story, we will lead in exemplifying the culture we want to create

And so, wherever you are at in your walk with Jesus, whether you are a student, student leader, pastor or someone else, let me encourage you with this thought.

An Unstoppable Force, meets an Immovable object.

What if an Unstoppable Force isn’t the culture of today, with its liberal agenda, ‘lad’ culture and relativist ideas? What if… the Unstoppable Force was a generation of students that seek to head out into the darkness and shine the light of Jesus. What if… the Unstoppable Force was a generation of students whose hearts were so filled with love, compassion and justice that we sought not to condemn the world, but rather to redeem it. To lead our University to Jesus with an example of our lives. To Love, Serve and Party. To communicate to them, in a way that connects, that Jesus is alive and just as much at work today than he was 2000 years ago. What if… We were the unstoppable force?

What if the Unstoppable Force was a generation of students whose hearts were so filled with love, compassion and justice that we sought not to condemn the world, but rather to redeem it.

And what of this immovable object? For many Christians, the pressure has caused the goalposts to shift. We no longer have the same convictions as we had previously; compromise has slipped in. Whether that looks like attitude towards sex, going to Church, drinking, working hard or any other example. You see, all it takes for something to move is the right amount of pressure. What if… we made a decision right here and right now, in our time and in our turn that regardless of what pressures come we will not compromise.

We will not waver from the call that God has put on our lives. We will not waver from the conviction that the Bible is our foundation and absolute truth. We will not compromise.

That is the rock on which we build our lives and we must teach others to do likewise.

Unlike in The Dark Knight, the Unstoppable Force and the Immovable Object aren’t enemies. If we want to see the Kingdom of God extended on campuses across the nation; if we want to see salvation come, for justice to roll like a mighty river, then let us take a stand. Let us be followers of Jesus that have given our hearts and lives completely over to him and are filled with the Holy Spirit and let us hold fast to the word of God.

As a movement, Vineyard is committed wholeheartedly to help equip students to fulfil their potential.

Our commitment in my church, Hull Vineyard, for the past decade and beyond has been to help lead, shape and support students so that they in turn can help lead, shape and support students who don’t know Jesus in this unique time of university life

This is not something that can be done alone or was ever meant to be that way.

As a movement, Vineyard is committed wholeheartedly to help equip students to fulfil their potential.

All over the country in University Cities we have Vineyard churches that would love to welcome you into a community of people who are working out their faith practically, making room for those who are seeking, in a fun, accepting environment. We hope to train and equip young men & women to make an impact in this world, in whatever sphere God has called them.

find-your-nearest-vineyard-church

To find your nearest Vineyard church just click here and enter your town, city or postcode.  Alternatively, we have been partnering with our friends at Fusion for a number of years. They are a great resource for helping students get connected. If you head to their website www.fusion.uk.com  students can explore how to connect with a local church in that university town.

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