You might have seen the headlines in The Telegraph kicking the church yet again by saying "talking about Jesus puts people off". Oh yes, that got my blood boiling.
And then I read the whole article and I was almost apoplectic; the Church of England says this itself? What planet are we on now?
Let me be clear, I've read this report. In fact I was at the first ever presentation of the report and has fascinating conversations about it's findings and the HOPE it brought to me as a pioneer that our country is open to Jesus conversations.
So, I hear you ask, how can these two paragraphs be talking about the same thing? And I'm with you in that question.
But you know what?
I think it comes down to one simple thing.
We either think positively about what we CAN do and HOPE and PRAY that it does some good.
Or we curl up in a ball and allow every possible problem to overwhelm us and give up for good.
I know which one of these options Jesus showed us how to do.
He went out and met people
He talked to them and healed them
He shouted at some and prayed with others
He took risks
He didn't turn his back on a challenge
And he never gave up
So neither shall I.
I see clear hope and possibility in this report when it says that when we talk about Jesus 20% of people want to know more.
One in five
That's a better hit rate than a lot of marketing strategies manage; and I for one am going to take that and run with it.
We met almost 100 kids this week at our HALO holiday club. That means, on these statistics alone, 20 will want to know more about Jesus. Hallelujah.
I talk about my faith in God through my own ill health and over 190 people read it; that means that 38 people may want to know more. How awesome is that. And that's only if I'm average. And I'll leave that decision to you.
I refuse to focus on the 80% who aren't interested every time I speak about Jesus; it's not that I don't care about them, but that I don't worry about them. I will only focus on sharing my faith widely and being alongside those who are wanting to know more right now.
Now all I have to do is convince the lay chair of synod to feel equally as positive. Here's praying.
You can read the report and see all the results and presentations at talkingjesus.org