September is a great time to get a school CU back up and running – or off the ground for the first time! But how do you get pupils to come along? Anand Singh from Bradfield College gives us five top tips for making a CU welcoming and accessible to any who’d like to give it a go….
- Preparation, preparation, preparation. Make sure that everything and everyone is briefed and ready about 20 minutes before the meeting starts so that you can be at the door welcoming pupils as they come with big encouraging smiles, unflustered. The venue should be home territory for pupils to make it easier to cross the threshold.
- Make pupils feel valued. Talk to each and every pupil at the meeting about themselves; remember something about them, and afterwards keep a list of who attended so that you can pray for them afterwards.
- Lower the intensity. It’s a big step to come to a Christian meeting. Keep the chat light-hearted and on subjects that they’re comfortable with. Deep and meaningful conversation can happen afterwards if the pupils initiate it. Make sure that there is food or even some games that provides something for people to do when they arrive.
- Make connections. Introduce some older pupils to younger pupils. One of the distinguishing features of a Christian meeting is the mixing of age ranges in a social setting and you hope those Christian connections continue outside the meeting.
- Relaxed atmosphere. Low-level lighting, relaxed background music, giving people a drink as they arrive go a long way at putting pupils at ease and helping them to better listen to God’s Word. Play the host!
Feedback from our supporters
After our article went out in our monthly e-newsletter, one of our supporters contacted us with their reflections – and addition!
The points about CUs reminded me of my experience of leading the CU at my school. It was an incredibly formative time for me, learning to lead, learning to communicate, learning to communicate my faith to my friends at school. As such, I’d want to add something to the five points about identifying pupils who have leadership gifts, and apprenticing/discipline them by making space for them.
What do you think about the points raised above? What was your abiding memory of your time at a CU or similar meeting?