Many students spend a lot of their time partying at local clubs near the University. For many it is where their lasting memories of student life are made. Club Outreach is one answer to the question, ‘how can we go and practically serve students where they are and share with them the love God has for them?’ It is also a way we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps who “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
Things to consider beforehand:
How to serve? There are lots of different ways to serve. You might want to consider giving out free water, hot chocolate, cookies or giving out free flip flops. Setting up a little table (fold away camping table) outside the club with free hot chocolate/ or an other drink and biscuits or sweets is a good and recommended way to serve as it attracts people’s attention and is easy for students to approach.
Practically serving students with free drinks is important but serving outside the club also includes listening, comforting, protecting, helping someone get home and being interested in them as a person.
Which club is the best one? For example think through questions like:
I s there a good space outside the front of the club to set up?
Do you have any good contacts with staff at a club?
Do you want to focus on a particular year group i.e. Fresher’s club nights/older years?
Who is on the Club Outreach Team? Think through who you would like to invite to join you as you lead the Club Outreach activity. A good size for your team is between 5 -7 people with at least two boys on the team.
What is the purpose of doing it? It’s important to have the team clear about this before you go out. Clean Time is a way for you to seek to serve students practically and show God’s love. God may open up spiritual conversations naturally with students and you may end up having deeper conversations about life and God!
A few tips:
Safety and security. Don’t go off from the main team on your own. Look out for one another during the night. If a student is getting worked up because they have been drinking, seek to diffuse the situation, step back and be calm. It is good for boys to talk to boys and girls to talk to the girls to prevent misunderstandings.
At the end of the night, the leader should ensure everyone is getting home okay. Don’t let students walk home but instead ensure that each member is dropped home in a taxi. (This depends on the local situation. If it is safe to bike home in your country feel free to do so.)
Attitude: Don’t judge. People might say or do things that we might be tempted to judge them for. Withhold judgement of others, see the person as God sees them and be full of grace and kindness as you are filled with the Spirit. (See the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-26)
Serve willingly, without complaining. Serve with unconditional love remembering that receiving a cup of hot chocolate is not dependant on them talking about Jesus. But be prepared to share about Jesus in a gentle and respectful way (1 Peter 3:15) avoiding argumentative/confrontational conversations especially with students who have been drinking.
Who are you guys? ‘We are a student group called Agapé which is run by a few Christians and for anyone to explore the bigger questions in life and what it means to connect with God.’
Why are you doing this? We just wanted to serve people as they came out the club, give people a drink, and show God’s love.
Do I have to pay? No. (Don’t accept money!)
Run of the evening:
Meet as a team to pray beforehand, brief the team and collect all the things you will need to take with you.
When arriving at the club; (in case there is a bouncer at the club) the leader of the team should speak to the bouncer and agree where to be. Make the bouncers a cup of hot chocolate and be friendly to them.
At the beginning of the night: agree a time to finish and leave, try to leave before the closing time as it can get a bit more chaotic outside at that time. At the end of the night, touch base with the team to make sure everyone is okay (don’t do this outside the club).
PRAYER – worship Jesus and pray to be spirit filled and full of God’s love. Pray for the Students you will meet and for them to encounter Jesus and his love. Pray for protection over the team and students.
The leader should give a briefing on:
The purpose of Clean Team explaining who we are and why we are doing it.
Safety and security.
Attitude – perhaps you could share a Bible verse with the team e.g. Galatians 5:22-26.
Things to take with you:
Remember that God is with you and loves to use you to reach out to your campus so have fun and enjoy meeting new students as you bless them with Club Outreach!