Kingdom Priorities

In many ways the first semester of 2019 has been messier than usual. There’s always a degree of unpredictability in student ministry, compounded by the turnover of our core students year on year. A few changes in personnel and areas of oversight on our staff team added to the sense of being unsettled. Nevertheless, there have been many encouragements. Our small groups are spending the year working through Luke’s Gospel. As we witness the surprising breaking in of God’s kingdom into the present through Jesus’ ministry (Lk. 4:16-21), we’ve been hugely challenged by the kind of king he is and the nature of his kingdom. Jesus turns our expectations on their head! The humble, the poor, the weak will be exalted, while the proud, those who are well-off now, will be judged. Though Jesus comes as the glorious king of an everlasting kingdom under God, he is also a suffering servant (Lk. 9:20-22). So the radical call of discipleship involves self-denial to the point of death; it looks like having our priorities reshaped by kingdom values; all with a view to the future glory we’ll enjoy at the fulfilment of the kingdom. Praise God for how he’s been at work among us through this journey, helping us to see Jesus clearly, ally ourselves with him, and have our lives reshaped by kingdom priorities. Below are some highlights of the semester.

Equip Camp (8-10 Feb)

“The off campus Equip group has been a highlight this year. We’ve grown in number as our Bible Studies have fed leaders into our leaders’ training, and we have seen real growth in our leaders. Some are ‘getting’ reading the Bible better as we move through Luke, some are growing at leading groups of people, and some are growing personally in their love and knowledge of the Lord. One student said to me privately, “This year at Bible Study and Equip has felt like a second conversion.” We thank the Lord for his work among us.” Nicholas, staff worker

Societies Week

Engaging with students at UJ Bunting Road Campus

Engaging with students at UJ Soweto Campus as we establish a new chapter

Engage (Campus Fellowship)

“One of the many highlights for me has been seeing many new faces that were and still are keen to interact with God’s word and have been consistent since the first Engage of this year. It’s encouraging to see people who seek God earnestly, especially in their youth.” Anesu, student leader

“Engage has always been a joy to attend: a time of fruitful discussions on various topics which gives us answers to questions and situations we face in our Christian walk. One which particularly stood out for me addressed “Sex” – a topic which isn’t commonly addressed in church settings or talked about much in the family; a topic on which the world is screaming its views at the millennial generation. It was encouraging to hear a biblical perspective on it.” Deesi, student leader

Ladies' Day Out in the Sun

Small Groups

“This semester has been amazing! I’ve met so many new people! It’s been a great encouragement to see the growth of individuals through our Bible Study. Then there’s Engage – I just love the community we have when we come together and discuss contemporary issues in light of God’s word! Being a part of FOCUS has been life-changing for me – my love for God and his people just keeps growing and growing.” John, student leader

Students from The Richmond and Richmond Central enjoying a hike and more fun afterwards

Students from Wits hanging out around games

Students from UJ Kingsway Campus enjoying fellowship

“Bible Study was my number one encouragement this semester. Our group was large last year, so I expected an even larger group this year. When that didn’t happen, my focus was shifted to the fact that it’s not necessarily about the numbers of people who attend every week but that God speaks to us by his word. Though we’ve been few, we’ve been able to dig into God’s word, experiencing deep convictions and enjoying fellowship with one another. I’m sure my group will join me in saying it’s been an awesome experience and we’re looking forward to what God has in store for us next semester! Our Equip group has been a good foundation, building my confidence in handling God’s word and helping me to rest in the reality that it is God who changes people.” Banele, student leader