As Christians go I am pretty rubbish.
Today I was having lunch with two friends off mine. We were bantering away about some unusual stuff. It was unusual because they are both recovering heroin addicts and one of them is a lesbian. This is a long way removed from my middle class up bringing and life style, so I was struggling to keep up with the conversation. It was only about 10 minutes after lunch, as I was walking back to my office, that I remembered that my friends weren’t Christian. Boy, did I feel stupid. As usual I had let a gilt edged opportunity to talk about God sail past me.
I remember that another one of my “non-Christian” (I hate that phrase) friends has recently decided to convert to Islam. That’s how good my friendship evangelism is!
I thought I would tell you this (my two readers) so that you can sit there and be happy in the knowledge that there is a Christian out there who sucks more at being a Christian than you do.
So in the last five weeks at churchcentral Jonathan Bell has been preaching a series called “Sex and the City”.
He has taken on the subjects of homosexuality, judgemental Christians, good sex, bad sex, and singleness. To say it’s been excellent doesn’t quite do the quality of the preaching justice. Go to our website and listen to them. I haven’t heard a preacher, certainly an English preacher; speak with such honest about such tricky subjects.
Doing a series like this at a time when we have loads of visitors (30 freshers on Sunday and probably 60-70 in the last three weeks) was a brave strategy. But, I think it will pay off. All the students I have spoken too seemed genuinely surprised at the relevance of the teaching and surprised at what the bible says about these issues.
Anyways, the reason I am writing this is because I am convinced that people love to hear honesty. There are stacks of churches, or church leaders, that will talk round an issue without ever giving a clear answer in the hope that you will stay at their church. But what really attracts people to a church, in a cynical culture, is honesty and conviction.
So many students (especially Christian ones) I meet are devoid of conviction. They lack in the ability to state their opinion because they are scared of offending or because they might have to back it up with actions. So to speak clearly, with passion and conviction is very attractive. We don’t see it often in our culture. We don’t often see it in the British church.
It’s been way too long since my last blog.
I have changed jobs, been ill and had a dodgy computer so the blogging has taken a back seat. Lame excuses, I know.
The student influx at churchcentral has carried on at a healthy pace. We are not setting records but newbies continue to show up, sometimes only once, and with a look of fear in their eyes, but at least they are showing up.
We have also gone to two meetings (10:30am and 6:30pm). Encouragingly this change has seen the numbers on a Sunday morning stay the same and an additional 50+ turn up in the evening. Good times.
Anyways this is a short update. In the next few days I will explain why I think students should tithe their loan, why Radioheads new album is awesome, why we should talk about sex at church a lot more and maybe add a bit more to that community debate from a month back.