I recently asked a group of young people if they could ask God anything if he / she / it did exist (I have a view on this but was trying to be open at this stage), what would you ask? These were young people who apart from one boy who I knew had an interest in faith had never shown any interest in it at all, a tough crowd. Often the impression we have from the media perhaps is that they won’t have any interest in God right?
They came up with some great questions. Yes the usual suspects like is there an afterlife, why do people die, why is there poverty but also more like why don’t you make yourself obvious, why is green green and why take Michael Jackson but leave Justin Bieber? I then asked for a volunteer to be God, put him in the God chair (a swivel chair – God can see in all directions) and put a long white fake beard on him (that is what God looks like isn’t it? It doubles up as a Father Christmas beard in December). He did a good job of then answering the questions actually.
A recent survey by the Church of England, Hope and the Evangelical Alliance looked at perceptions of Jesus, Christians and Evangelism in England. It was not good right?
Six out of ten adults believed Jesus was a real person. Forty three percent believed he came back from the dead. Sixty percent of people who were not Christian said knowing a Christian was appositive experience. OK as some of my teachers used to say to me, it could have been better. But there is more belief, interest and positivity than often we are led to believe by the media AND ourselves when we think about sharing our faith with people.
So instead of hesitating to speak to people as much as we (including me) do, perhaps we should be much more prepared to preach in season and out (2 Timothy 4 v 2).
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