With 100 metres remaining, the crowd got louder still. The runners asked their weary bodies to find yet another gear, but one man had more left than the rest. Mo Farah pulled away from the field in the 10,000m Olympic final and sprinted to the finish line and his first of two gold medals, at London 2012. Employing his iconic ‘Mobot’ as he crossed the line, it felt as though the entire nation all had their eyes on him, to witness his moment of glory.

But there’s a lot we didn’t see in the lead up to that triumph. In order to get to the starting line, let alone the finishing line, Farah had to prepare meticulously — international training camps, gruelling high altitude sessions and take part in competitions in obscure parts of the world, all in preparation for achieving amazing success.

For the young people in our churches who are about to start university, we must ask ourselves, How prepared are they for the new season they are entering into?’

It is possible their school or college has taken the time to prepare them in some way for the transition between mainstream and higher education. And if so, have they thought about how the move away from home will impact their faith? If church is no longer something they are a part of, as an extension of their parents, will they keep going? The university experience exposes our young people to new opportunities and experiences — but what role will church play? If our students are going to continue going to church at university, how best can we prepare them?


By using Fusion’s Student Linkup app, students can start looking for a church before they make the move away from home. Young people can explore nearby churches using the interactive map feature. The messenger function enables young people to interact with local students, churches and church leaders.

Churches have the responsibility of welcoming new students at university, as well as preparing their young people who are moving away. If a young person has been prepared for university by their church, it is highly likely they will be more inclined to seek out a church in their new town or city.

The story of Samuel reveals a young man who is to be embedded into the life of the temple. In the opening chapters of 1 Samuel, the writer continually refers to Samuel’s development: And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favour with the Lord and with people.” (1 Samuel 2:26) With this in mind, we must give our young people the best chance at staying connected to their faith and church whilst away at university. Here are three things you can do to prepare your school or college leavers for university:

1) Purchase the Student Linkup Box — this box is filled with resources that will enable students to start conversations with youth leaders, church leaders, or their friends about the start of university.

2) Strongly encourage them to download the Student Linkup app.

3) Pray for your students in church — draw attention to the fact that your young people are going to university. Celebrate it, and then pray!

We can’t force our young people to go to church, but we can do our best to prepare them practically and spiritually for the journey that lies ahead.