A lot of my first year at uni was defined by running late to lectures, sharing funny seminar stories with housemates instead of studying and dancing to Dua Lipa literally anywhere music was playing. I used to see as many people as I could every week and the only time I was in my room was to sleep or get ready for a night out. What actually took up the majority of my time was that I would just end up chatting to my housemates in the kitchen for hours on end without even realising it. I had to adopt a “3, 2, 1 and go” strategy to actually leave my chair most days in order to get anything done at all!
About 2 months into first term I realised that the majority of our ‘kitchen chats’ were about different aspects of life and how faith played into that. To be more specific, a lot of the conversations, whether that be with the people I lived with or their mates who were over, were about the facts of how God could possibly be real.
I remember sitting with someone I had just met from Church and asking how on earth I was meant to prove to them that God existed. I was asked pretty regularly about the practicalities of Noah’s Ark and the improbability of the creation story in comparison to the big bang theory. I was asked to recite dates and doctrines of the early church in the New Testament that I was only just starting to learn myself!
I had no issues in talking about the deeper, more philosophical questions around how with God there is more to strive for than just happiness, for example. But it was all the other conversations that made me feel so out of my depth and like no matter what I said, it would have no real impact on their view of God. The only way I could understand it was to think that there were people in life who were super open to faith and they tended to be the ones that would open up about their feelings as well, just like me. Or there were people in life who wanted to catch people of faith out, and everyone else was just uninterested.
It wasn’t until I met some people in Church who loved the facts and figures, that I understood that anyone who ever entertained a conversation about faith was open to learning but it was just in a different way than I learned about faith.
Some people learn about faith through knowing tangible truths over opinions whereas others learn by hearing about how Jesus has transformed people's life experiences. Some learn by seeing how Jesus addresses practical needs whereas others learn by going on an adventure and seeing if and how God shows up.
You can discover how you learn about faith and most importantly discover how your friends might learn about faith so that the next time you’re in a late-night kitchen chat you feel less out of your depth and more understanding of how God could move.
Go to Mission Styles to check out more.