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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Mapping a route through lockdown: an interview with Tim Yearsley

Tim Yearsley, LICC’s new Programme Leader – Emerging Generations, discusses how finalists and recent graduates can stay fruitful during the lockdown

The first thing you notice about Tim Yearsley, LICC’s newest recruit, is that he’s cooler than you are. He plays lead guitar in a metal band and has very artfully coiffed hair.

The second thing you notice is that he loves working with young adults. Tim joined LICC’s Work Forum in January as Programme Leader for Emerging Generations. His mission is to equip millennials and Gen Z for godly impact on their daily frontlines.

He already knows a fair bit about that. He spent the last 10 years discipling students in Nottingham with the Navigators, and wastes no time in telling anyone who’ll listen how much he loved it. So much so, in fact, that he still gets out to mentor Nottingham students whenever he can.

That passion to see young adults living for Christ quickly comes to the surface when we speak – particularly when it comes to how they can serve God at work.

‘This is about how we disciple an entire generation. In the UK’s post-Christian culture, people in their twenties are looking less and less to the church or their families for meaning and purpose. Instead, they’re looking to their careers.

‘That’s a huge opportunity. If we believe God is already in the workplace, we can help students and graduates discover him there – and so realise they can make a difference for him. The gospel means every essay, application, and email are significant in his eyes. There’s no such thing as a meaningless job.’

This is what attracted Tim to this new role in LICC’s respected Work Forum – the opportunity to disciple the new generation. He was appointed to build on the great work LICC is already doing with young adults – from in-depth envisioning courses like Re:Work and Emerging Leaders’ Toolbox, to group resources for students like Routed and Launched.

He was brought on board to take this work to the next level, bringing a wealth of experience, a network of student leaders and a deep belief in the potential of young adults to make a difference for Christ.

And then the lockdown happened.

‘If you’re twenty-something, your life is full of transition at the best of times. Finishing university, starting work, moving from a grad scheme to a sense of career. It’s a lot to take in.

‘But the lockdown has made that transition even harder, particularly for final-year students. Exams have been postponed and graduation ceremonies cancelled. Lots of people don’t even know when they’ll be working, let alone what they’ll be doing.’

Uncertainty. Anxiety. In this bizarre time, how do you help young adults avoid getting bogged down in no-man’s land, caught in suspended animation while normal life is on hold?

The answer, according to Tim, is to give people the chance to think it through with others in the same boat.

‘Being with peers is a huge part of Christian life at uni,’ says Tim. ‘But when you transition into work a lot of that structure goes away. It’s a cliff edge. That sudden loss of your support network makes it harder to transition well, and also work out how to serve God in all of your new life – not just at church.

‘Now, the lockdown is obviously making it harder than ever for people to get together with other Christians.’

But Tim’s not going to let that get in the way of LICC’s work with young adults. The way forward is clear: gather online!

‘Online workshops are a great way to meet other people with the same struggles and joys as you, and spend time together building gospel foundations for your working lives.

‘That’s hard to do in the busyness of normal life, but here’s an opportunity to make the most of the moment we find ourselves in, to invest our time and get prepared for whatever comes next.’

To make it happen, he’s running a series of online meet-ups every Tuesday in June for students and graduates across the country. They’re based on LICC’s Routed course, a four-part interactive study that helps Christians make the transition into work thoughtfully, practically, and purposefully.

Plus, leaders can bring their groups to the sessions to work through the material with Tim, tackling these new challenges with familiar faces.

Every transition in life is a chance for God to get our attention and set us on a trajectory to become the people he wants us to be. So, get the word out: finalists and graduates – take this opportunity to get equipped!

Routed LIVE

Join our series of four workshops helping students and graduates discover gospel-shaped purpose in the transition to life after uni.