by Simon Hall
It’s that time of year: Hyde Park, Woodhouse, Headingley and Burley are gearing up for the arrival and return of tens of thousands of students. Some of them are Christians, a few of them are exploring spirituality in different ways. Maybe that’s you. If so, you should probably consider going to a ‘Student Church’.
Student churches are great. No, I mean it, I’m not being sarcastic. I was part of a student church when I was a student and it really helped me learn and grow. And I met my wife there. A good student church will provide you with lots of people at the same stage of life, and a team of older people dedicated to serving and developing you in these crazy three years.
Revive isn’t like that at all. We don’t have a special student programme. We don’t have a special team or Pastor or anything like that. We are a network of different small groups that focuses on the stuff of community: prayer, learning, serving. Many of us live and work in the communities that you will be living in, and that is probably what makes us who we are. Which is to say, if you are interested in getting to know your neighbourhood and serving the people that live there, we could be a good church for you.
We do have specific things that we are interested in. No, that’s an understatement. We are passionate about social justice and many of us work in different ways to see God’s Kingdom come in the here and now. We also feel that God is calling us to show a particular hand of welcome to the LGBTQ+ commununity. At the moment we are praying a lot for healing. We are passionate about creativity and the arts, and have been very involved in setting up and supporting Left Bank Leeds, an arts centre in Hyde Park. We are passionate about each person finding their identity and calling in God, which makes us a very messy community to be a part of, because we can’t say, ‘we are all doing this’, or ‘we all believe that.’ I love it.
So this is an invitation to revive. If you already know that you’d like to be around lots of students at church we are definitely not the right place for you – we meet in homes and most of us are a bit older than you – but if you fancy a challenge and come with questions that you’re willing to struggle with, revive is brilliant. Excellent. Fantastic. Get in touch!