45% of people in the UK believe in the Resurrection. Does that surprise you?
After a conversation with a Christian, one in three not-yet-Christians want to know more!
Talking Jesus Survey
We’ve just watched the live launch of the Talking Jesus survey results released by the Evangelical Alliance today. The full report will be available in the next couple of weeks on talkingjesus.org. It was incredibly inspiring, and we wanted to share a snapshot of it with you today. We highly recommend watching the video and sharing it with church leaders. https://youtu.be/y9khiJ8LXFY
This survey takes place every 7 years. Since 2015, there has been a 10% drop in the number of people who say they are Christians. However, 6% of those surveyed would call themselves practising Christian, and this figure has remained the same since 2015.
More people in the older age bracket identify as Christian, so it is not surprising that the figure has dropped. However, there are some very positive trends emerging.
25% of practising Christians are non-white ethnic Christians.
They asked ‘Where would you go to find out about the Christian faith?’ The overwhelming answer was ‘Google’! We need to be in the digital world and stay online.
Expecting People at church and presenting Scripture
‘Going to a church service’ and ‘Reading the Bible’ both come out strongly too.
We should be expecting new people to be at church.
53% of Non-Christians know a practising Christian. This is a significant drop since the last survey. Why has this happened? It may have something to do with the pandemic. But what can we do about it?
Making friends with non-Christians is one of the main topics we speak about at all of our Activate Your Life events. We’re so passionate about bringing this message to women all over the country.
So much of the relational work happens with those close to us.
Non-Christians describe Christians as friendly, caring and good-humoured.
The role of evangelism needs to be taken by the congregation. Go out for coffee, meet them, and enjoy being friends.
Don’t be afraid to share the Word of God
Use entry-level language. When telling a bible story, be clear – who are you talking about? Which Joseph are you referring to?
Intentionally create spaces to explore and investigate the Christian faith.
Use testimony, tell people how the Bible helps you. People become Christians through reading it!
‘Evangelism is not on the shoulders of those who are tasked with it, or church leaders, it is on every one of us.’
When a non-Christian thinks of a Christian they know, they are thinking of a friend or family member, not a Church leader.
How do we create spaces for people?
It’s God who saves people. We need to concern ourselves with how well we communicate it. Give people the tools to equip people. Enthusiasm is not enough. Few churches do sessions on how to share your faith. We need to equip, provide resources, and teach people not just to share, but to bring.
Invite people on a journey
‘Events are critical but should be things that supplement our personal evangelism not replace them.’ Mark Greenwood
Relationships and invitation
Non-Christians are much more favourable in their opinion of individuals than they are of the church as a whole. And we don’t have to have all of the answers! The woman at the well didn’t fully understand who Jesus was, but she did say, ‘Come and meet this man’. Invite people on a journey, not just to an event.
Take people. Don’t just say ‘meet you there’. Collect people, take people, go together.
Not enough Christians have non-Christian friends.
Create space to really invest in meaningful friendships with non-Christians
Let’s not make it unnatural. Don’t go ‘sharking for non-Christians’!
Bring the people you would be naturally drawn to. There needs to be a relational connection. Spend more of your time with people who don’t know Jesus. You choose to be with them because you really get on with them, they’re your kind of people!
Speaking about your faith
40% are unsure how to answer the difficult questions
54% said they knew someone well enough to have these conversations
There is a place to work on this – get to know people
We have proof that more people want to know more about Jesus.
Not everyone will want to know more when you speak about Jesus but that’s the same as in Jesus’ day!
For non-Christians who have had a conversation with a practising Christian, 33% wanted to know more about him. This has gone up (in 2015 it was 1 in 5, today it is 1 in 3!)
44% of non-Christians who know a Christian have never had a conversation with them about their faith.
30% of the non-Christians remember that the person shared something personal in that conversation.
33% asked what the other person believed
MORE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT JESUS IN 2022 THAN THEY DID IN 2015!
How are people coming to faith?
In the 18-24 age bracket, reading the Word of God is the strongest key influence that has brought them to faith. This factor has stayed strong from 2015 to now.
Social media, Christian media, websites… these are all beginning to have an impact on the younger generations.
Most people come to faith by the age of 18.
As Fiona Castle said at our last weekend away, if there is one area other than Sunday services that all churches should be investing the most resources in, it is children, young people, family and youth groups. We need to learn from our Miss Activates how to speak to our friends!
People are coming to faith across the whole age spectrum.
But there is a dramatic decrease in people coming to faith after the age of 18.
Conversation is such a massive influence on evangelism
We want to help our children talk to their friends about Jesus. This is the age group that receives it the best.
People are intrigued by stories that feel personal to them
‘Do you know why I follow Jesus?’
‘Do you know why I go to church?’
When a non-Christian has spoken to a Christian, they’re not always going to automatically be ‘converted’, they want a conversation.
Don’t be part of a holy huddle
Don’t your fill calendar with a bunch of church stuff. Meet people, build friendships. The last couple of years have shaken up the church to allow this to happen. How many of us have strengthened friendships with next-door neighbours and fellow dog walkers?
Present scripture. People are tired of fake. To present scripture is solid truth. Stand on something authentic and real. Present Scripture in its rawest form.
Invest in under 18s
The first step: Listen. They are searching, asking.
Develop relationships. Use resources such as Youth Alpha, Higher Live.
These are notes from the video which you can access on Youtube now. Thank you to all of the presenters and guests. It is well worth the 50-minute watch/listen.
Access the full report on talkingjesus.org in the next couple of weeks.
We’ll be using all of this research to update and shape our training on friendship evangelism. We’re so excited to work with our Activate Your Life supporters to make our outreach more effective and HAVE FUN MAKING LOTS OF FRIENDS!
Activate Your Life exists to equip, resource, train and inspire women to be active in sharing God’s love in natural, meaningful ways. Watch this space and visit our website to discover how Activate Your Life has been focused on relational evangelism for the last 55 years. Find out how to book speakers or run a Day Away to help inspire your local church.