A simple and effective way to talk about the Christian faith is to craft speech acts about heroes and villains. For example, I was talking recently to a financial adviser about investing money in a variety of portfolios and my wife, Anne and I became bothered about the dodgy nature of some of the schemes. We're talking about our money being invested in weapons, tobacco and pornography companies. This is how the conversation went with 'Brian'.
In the past few weeks, RealityBites director Mark Roques has partnered with Whistling Frog Productions (Bradford) and St George's church in Leeds to bring RB stories and teaching to thousands of people in West Yorkshire.
On Christmas day Mark delivered six football monologues on the Pulse of West Yorkshire radio station to approximately 136,000 listeners! He told the story of Jesus' birth through the lens of five football fans from England, France, Germany, Spain and Russia. There was a clear gospel challenge to follow Jesus and not Herod! Feedback has been excellent.
Some people just don't get it! They think it's self-indulgent talking about James Bond and Rat worship. They say – forget this nonsense and start talking about Jesus without any daft, eccentric preliminaries.
Such people simply haven't recognised how secularism blinds people at a deep spiritual level. They don't understand that secular people find conversations about God and Jesus embarrassing, awkward and weird.
In my work with RealityBites I sometimes go into schools in order to provoke young people to engage with Jesus’ wonderful teaching about the kingdom of God.
In July 2011 I spoke to about 300 largely unchurched teenagers at a sixth form conference in Newcastle. Here is an outline of that conference.
For about fifty minutes I spoke about celebrity culture, consumerism and commodification. I told stories about Jordan, Cheryl Cole and Russell Brand.