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19 February 2018

This Lent, will you be Talking Jesus?

This Lent, will you be Talking Jesus?

We all want to talk about Jesus. Some of us find it easy to drop Jesus into conversation and to help people  understand who He is, while some of us just can't work out how to talk about Jesus and not sound totally crazy. But our Talking Jesus research showed that conversations with a Christian was one of the key things that influences people on their journey to faith. So talking about Jesus is a great way to show His love to those around us who don't know Him.

When it comes to talking about Jesus, part of the problem is that we're not always sure what our friends and family – or neighbours, or strangers on the bus for that matter – think about Him. Our Talking Jesus research  helps us to understand what people who don't know Jesus think about Him – and how we can get better at talking about Him. Developed alongside the Church of England and HOPE, the research is a great resource for churches and small groups to give us some great ideas for talking about Jesus.

So maybe it would help you to know that two thirds of non-Christian adults in the UK know a practising Christian. That means that there's a good chance that when you chat to someone about Jesus, they'll already have someone that's talking to them about Him, or maybe just praying quietly for them. You're not entering a totally empty space where Jesus is utterly unknown. 

Or maybe you're the practicing Christian that someone already knows - is there anyone in your life who knows you're a Christian but who you don't share your faith with that much? Have a look for ways that you can start talking to them about Jesus, or if there's anything going on at church or in your local community that you could invite them to.

Or maybe you're encouraged to hear that non-Christians are much more likely to describe the Christians that they know as caring and friendly, than as hypocritical and narrow-minded. So it's quite likely that if you want to talk to someone about Jesus, they'll be willing to hear you out if they already know a Christian who they feel positive about.

It might also be helpful to know a bit about what non-Christians understand about who Jesus was. For example, 40 per cent of non-Christians don't believe that Jesus was a real person. When we begin to talk to people about Jesus it really helps to know what their perspective on the reality of our faith might be. 

We also did some special research among 11-18 year olds to find out what older children and teenagers think about Jesus. We found that just 1 per cent of young people think of a Christian youth worker as their first point of contact with a Christian, but also that 35 per cent of young people know a Christian in their family. If you have a younger person in your family who doesn't know Jesus, how can you be talking to them about Jesus?

Talking Jesus has some great suggestions for how you can start. Often a conversation about Jesus can lead to more conversations, it can open up opportunities to give our friends a copy of the Bible or one of the gospels, and it can inspire us to invite them to church and to get praying for them more fervently.

Visit talkingjesus.org to explore the full resource and get equipped to talk to your family, friends, neighbours, and strangers on the bus about Jesus.

Here at the Alliance we want to see you and your church family equipped to share Jesus in your communities. Why not become a member of the Alliance and help make Jesus known?