My friend Dan asked an interesting question this week. I wonder what you’ll make of it.
There were ten of us sat around eating lunch in Leeds, talking about mission and discipleship and how we can make sure the two remain inextricably linked in our local church contexts. As the student workers from various churches chatted through the victories and struggles in the student scene of their city, no one could deny that with a huge student population of around 80,000, the few hundred who did know Jesus really did have to get active in sharing their faith. There doesn’t seem to be any room for complacency or an assumption that someone else would tell the students of Leeds about Jesus... because there isn’t really anyone else.
As we talked, Dan piped up passionately, “but it’s good news we’re talking about! I don’t understand how people can believe that Jesus is good news and follow him, and then not share it? It doesn’t make sense.”
The room was listening, Dan continued; “If you got engaged, the chances are you’d want to spread the word, maybe even shout it from the rooftops, because what you have to share is good news. When my football team makes a good signing, I’ll tell anyone who will listen, because it’s good news. If we do that in every day life, how on earth do we fail to share Jesus, the ultimate good news, with everyone we meet?”
Another student worker Hannah, had a suggestion: “I think it’s because we lose the immediacy of the moment. Maybe if you’ve just met Jesus you tell everyone because right then you’re experiencing this news and you know it’s good. But after initially meeting Jesus, maybe you then think that it’s in the past. He becomes old news. It isn’t the first thing to talk about any more. People lose the momentum.”
Is that the case for you?
Now we were all leaning in, hungry to dig deeper into the discussion. Another opinion emerges; “But surely, if we are living and following Jesus daily, there’s always new experiences, there’s always news to be shared. God is always good and doing good things in our lives. Isn’t there always excitement and stories to be told if we are in active faith and relationship with God?”
This point was immediately followed with, “Reading the Bible every day automatically gives you a way of God speaking good news to you daily. If you’re listening you’ll hear from God when you read the bible, so you can always have news to share surely?”
Have you found that? What do you think?
I was encouraged by this conversation, because I sat with ten individuals who deeply care about students, are committed to leading in their local churches, love their city too much to not reach out, and will do what it takes to help students know the freedom and joy of sharing their faith as a normal part of their life with Jesus.
It’s one thing to talk to student leaders in Leeds, but let’s throw this discussion out wider. So students of the UK, no need for stock-answers or attempts at the “right” answer. Honesty is all we want to work with, so honestly in your opinion, do we have good news to share? And what stops us from naturally sharing Jesus in our day to day lives?