Why bespeaking?

Lunchbars are a phenomenally exciting way of bringing the Gospel to campus. Students book an accessible venue at the heart of the university and invite their friends to a talk and a free lunch. The talk titles range from ‘how could a loving God allow suffering’ to ‘Jesus & Will Smith; is happiness always a pursuit’?

Bespeaking is designed for those organising Lunchbars, speaking at Lunchbars and involved in Christian Persuader Student Groups (which identify and train future Lunchbar speakers).

Paul reasoned daily in the Hall of Tyrannus and all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks (Acts 19:9-10). We’re confident that the series of quality lunchbars occurring across the UK will similarly impact students from all backgrounds. Here are a few examples shared by students…

In St Andrews CU we had a lunchbar each day during Events Week in a pub right at the heart of town. We asked people ‘if you could ask God one question, what would it be?’ on the website ifyoucouldask.co.uk and the most common answers formed the titles for our first three lunchbars. The Events Week lunch bars faced peoples’ biggest questions like ‘What does Jesus think about… other religions/ sex & relationships/ science/ suffering?’ and saw 120 attend each day!

In Exeter we host our lunchbars in the Music & Drama room at the centre of campus. Many of our attendees are quite deep thinkers and often come from philosophical, scientific and theological viewpoints which make question times very thought-provoking! Christians from CU help engage in conversation with guests and/or friends that they have brought. We provide the food; picnic nibbles such as sandwiches, sausages, crisps, biscuits etc and there are jugs of squash available to drink.

In Manchester we generally pack out the back room of a pub on campus in the lecture lunch-break with hungry students, and everyone gets stuck into the food. Our freshers week lunchbar title was ‘Will Manchester change me forever?’ and the speaker talked from his own experience of changing and becoming a Christian around the time he was a student. The whole thing worked really well – loads of new faces and everyone heard about Jesus!

In Oxford we have our lunchbars upstairs in a city centre pub. Usually we have chairs in rows (or more accurately arcs) but last term we arranged them in groups around tables which worked really well and led to some great discussions. There’s a book table by the door which people are free to take from as they leave.