Katie McLean leads students committed to seeing people coming to faith all over universities in the UK. We talked to her to find out about a day in the life of a Fusion team leader.
When you start your day, what are you hoping to see?
When I’m sitting at my desk starting my day, my hope is that we’ll be connecting with churches and students, and raising faith to see God move. Even in the pandemic, God isn’t locked down.
We start the day checking in as a team and praying. Most days we celebrate stories, which instantly helps me remember why we’re in it. We’ve been hearing loads of great stories recently, like students who’ve given their life to Jesus when they’ve watched a TikTok – the app where you see these 60-second, snappy videos.
One student came to a church in Nottingham the very last Sunday before the second lockdown, invited by a friend and on the fence about church. A slightly bonkers prophetic word was shared from the front, he responded, gave his life to Jesus – and he’s now brought along other friends who’ve recommitted their lives to Jesus as adults, in the third lockdown! He’s doing Alpha and is keen for a student Alpha launch to bring all his friends, and a load of their mates too.
Another student invited a mate to church before lockdown, and they couldn’t come. And this student was saying, ‘I don’t really like to share Jesus with people, it’s a bit awkward.’ But she sent her friend the link to online church. When uni came back, she discovered that her friend had been watching church the whole way through summer, and her whole family are joining in watching. She’s now coming every Sunday, joined a student small group, and is following Jesus.
What might a typical day look like?
A lot of what we do at Fusion is equipping the local church. So, in a dream day, let’s take yesterday, I start prepping content for Mission Styles, which is one of my favourite trainings we run. On Mission Styles, we equip students to think about how they share their faith best as their unique selves.
Then I jump on a call with a student worker. This is a student worker who’s just launched small groups in the pandemic. We’re chatting about Acts 2 and the early church, how you had this fellowship of believers who lived differently, devoted to each other, the apostles’ teaching and sharing everything. These people lived distinctively, and then the Lord added to their numbers daily. We’re talking about student communities looking like that in this season.
I finished the day by training a church in Mission Styles. We did that on Zoom, it was an hour in the evening and super fun. Lots of interactivity, thinking through how we do share our faith best as ourselves.
How did the pandemic affect your working days?
We work in regional teams and connect with church leaders and student leaders, and before the pandemic we’d be visiting a city once a week for days packed with meetings or training. I joked that I always had an overnight bag ready to go.
But when we first came into lockdown we put all of our training online. We thought, how do we rework this so it serves the whole church in a pandemic? How do we do community? And we considered the bigger things going on for graduates: what are they grieving, how do they process calling or think through what’s next.
At the moment, we have a lot of webinars: preparing for graduation, how to engage in social media in the pandemic, theology, and well-being. We don’t have all the answers but we have a really good ear on the ground because we’re speaking to churches across the nation. We see themes sometimes where student workers say, ‘This thing is happening in our student community,’ and I think, ‘Funny, I spoke to a church on the other side of the country who noticed the same thing.’ We’re help navigate those situations.
What do you tend to look forward to most in your day?
I look forward to the conversations with people who are really looking to grow and equip students. Working for Fusion, I’m surrounded by people every day who love students and want to see God move in this generation. But it’s often quite lonely for student workers who are potentially the only one carrying that vision on their staff team. I look forward to connecting them with the wider story of what’s happening with student mission across the country.
And I love hearing stories and seeing God answer prayers that we prayed way before we even knew what Covid was. There are things I’ve been praying for a long time and we are seeing a shift. Covid hasn’t changed God’s agenda.
Give to Fusion here.
Read more about Fusion here.