What do people know and believe about Jesus? What do they really think of us, His followers? Are we talking about Jesus enough? And when we do, are we drawing people closer towards Him, or pushing them further away?
We have been asking big questions about the state of faith in the UK and how people come to faith in Jesus. But this was not just for curiosity’s sake. We are believing, hoping, and praying that Talking Jesus will be a major catalyst for effective and focused evangelism in the years to come.
It all began in March 2015, when we gathered more than 40 key leaders of denominations and networks, as well as key influencers from across the spectrum of the English church. For 24 hours, we prayed and we talked. We shared our heart for mission, our collective longing to see God move in this nation. We reflected on an initial piece of research on adults in England which we had commissioned (undertaken by the Barna research group). The results of this first piece of research were shocking.
We released the adult Talking Jesus report in September 2015. And since then, Christians and church leaders across the country have been unpacking the findings together, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities for sharing Jesus today.
We committed to doing follow-up research to track the cultural landscape of England and the UK, and to see how answers to these questions change over time. This led to the launch of the Talking Jesus 2022 report in April 2022.
One of the key facts we found in the 2015 research was that conversations with Christians are one of the most important influences in bringing people to faith. And we discovered that Christians are not always confident in putting their faith into words. So the Talking Jesus Course was created to inspire Christians to share their faith naturally and relevantly.
The purpose of the research is to spur the church into strategic evangelism. We have used the findings of the research to produce several resources to inspire mission in a culturally relevant and strategic way off the back of the insights discovered.