What exactly is “Oxygen”?

That is the question I had when I first joined the team at St Andrew’s to help look after “Oxygen” – what we call our cluster of Growth Groups dedicated to university students and young workers mostly in their 20s and a bit into their 30s. We are currently 8 groups strong, and meet all together on Thursdays evenings… It’s a real vibe. This is a special life stage and it’s nice to have a space to grow together.

What I love most about this ministry though is not the socials, weekend aways, or Christmas parties (as fun as they are). I am being entirely sincere when I say that the highlight of this past year in Oxygen for me has been the privilege of being able to dive deep into the Bible together with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Every academic year at Oxygen we generally aim to spend a year studying a book of the Bible. We did Romans last year, and this year we are looking at the Gospel of Mark.

“Why do you not follow the Sunday sermon series when it comes to your Bible study programme?”, you may ask.

let God speak his truths into our lives

While there are definitely pro’s and con’s for going rogue from the Sunday sermon series, some of the benefits include:

Being able to follow the author’s “melodic line” of a book to better understand the overall purpose (what they want the reader to understand), getting the macro picture.

With greater context as we go through a passage of the same book every week, we are able to build a solid “scaffolding” to dive deeper into passages and observe the micro details too.

All this helps us better understand what the text is trying to say and protects the reader against misinterpretation by taking verses out of context.

Our weekly meetings aren’t just academic classes though. We work hard to be clear about what God is saying in his word in order to obey and respond correctly to it in our lives. Accordingly, we spend a large portion of each evening applying the truths from God’s words into our lives and praying in response to all that we’ve learned as well. We also encourage members to read the Bible with others on a one-to-one basis, as there’s no better form of pastoral care than to go straight to the source and let God speak his truths into our lives as the best form of encouragement.

On the note of prayer, we’d really appreciate prayers for our Oxygen ministry too!

We’ve been blessed with many newcomers wanting to join us, but we need more groups to accommodate them! Please pray God will raise up more leaders to serve in his ministry.

Pray for growth and maturity for our members as time goes on and protection against complacency.

Thank God for our leaders and pray for their godliness and perseverance in what can be very rewarding but also difficult service.

So, why are we called “Oxygen”? I don’t know. It’s just a name we inherited. It’s what we do there that’s important though, and that’s opening the Bible and enjoying listening to God speak through his word (to know him better and encounter Jesus) together with my brothers and sisters. That’s what we’re about.

Pastoral Worker