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ss spotlight - Freshers Edition 2021,  running a student group

running a student group

Bethany Fuller looks at some practical tips from her experiences running a CMF nurses and midwives student group
It's that time of year again when we start to get excited about the next cohort of nurses and midwives joining our student ranks. But how do you connect? How do you let them know you're there and want to get to know them? How do you welcome them to your local CMF group?

I'm not pretending to have the answers to all these questions as each group is so unique, but in this article, I will give you some tips about things our group has found helpful over the years.

prayer

The number one priority is prayer and always prayer. Whatever you do, pray for your group and fellow leaders, pray for the individual members, pray about how to lead, pray that God will give you ideas suited to your situation, pray that he will provide the right people at the right time, pray he provides a place for you to meet, and pray that he would be glorified. He answers prayer!


how do I tell others about the CMF group?

There are lots of different ways to get the message out. Lecture shoutouts (if you're feeling brave!) and mentions at CU meetings are two great ways. Asking the CU committee for a slot also has the advantage of letting them know what CMF is about and paving the way for a friendly relationship between the CU and CMF, which exist for distinct but complementary reasons.

Contacting all the local churches with information about the CMF group and asking them to put it in their church notices or look out for new healthcare students has also proved fruitful in the past. You could even contact your school - we managed to get an advert on the main health sciences news page last year!

what do we do?

It's really important to have a few dates in the diary and events that you can invite freshers to from the word go. But what do you do for the first meeting?

Food is always a good thing! At the first meeting, you are just trying to get to know people, show them what CMF is about and get them hooked and eager for the next time. Meeting in a home is fantastic and really aids fellowship, but if that's not possible for you at the moment, pray about it, and the Lord will provide for you in his timing. Meeting outside on picnic rugs is also fun. During the last year of restrictions on meeting together, walks around campus or halls have become more popular and have been an excellent way to meet freshers.

Your group may be quite small, and so it is particularly important as a leader to ask everyone what they want from the group - fellowship? Informational/educational talks? Prayer support? Etc. Once you know what people are keen on, you can align the group's direction with the vision you have, and all go there together. Having some sort of group chat and social media presence is handy for staying in contact with each other.
It is important to introduce what CMF is and does as an organisation early in the term. It can be quite a hard thing to explain to people who have never heard of CMF before. Making them aware of membership and resources such as Spotlight and the CMF files is a great way to encourage engagement.

Before Covid, we used to meet on the third Friday evening of the month. Going online meant that we reduced the meeting frequency. Each group will face challenges peculiar to them, but it can be helpful to have a regular meeting date, as time has a habit of slipping by. It also helps everyone know where they are when arranging shifts, etc. Some groups will meet more frequently than once a month and others less so, but whatever you decide, try to keep it regular.

what support is available?

It is also important for you to remember all the resources CMF can offer you to help lead, including Bible study ideas, Spotlight, CMF files, student conferences, etc. Not least of these resources is the staff worker in your area. They are there to pray for you and may even come and speak at a meeting if you ask them nicely!

Another source of prayer is your nursing and midwifery representatives on the National Student Council of CMF. They love hearing from group leaders and, as fellow students, will commit to pray for you and your group.

Finally, trust in the Lord, and he will sustain you and provide all your needs according to his riches in glory.

Bethany Fuller is a newly qualified adult Nurse who trained at Surrey University

" a group first needs 1 or 2 keen students to be the leaders (reps) in order to start"
" we give reps support and resources to make leading easy"
"reps get training and a free place at our cmf national conference!"
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