'Talking Jesus' research Talking Jesus cover

A discussion guide

'Perceptions of Jesus, Christians and evangelism in England' was the remit given by the Evangelical Alliance, the Church of England and Hope to the Barna Group and ComRes in 2015 for research called 'Talking Jesus'.

The report along with introductory video and supplementary resources/downloads is available on the website www.talkingjesus.org

Alongside a wide variety of articles about various aspects of the research desccribed as 'extraordinary, 'gloomy', challenging', 'rubbish', 'interesting', 'surprisingly encouraging', and 'amazing', here is a discussion guide to the research intended for groups of individuals and churches for themselves.

Written by CTE staff member for Evangelisation, Mission and Media (Jim Currin), the discussion guide gets the group to find the statistics from www.talkingjesus.org and come to their own conclusions with the use of 20 questions.

Download Discussion Guide to Talking Jesus as a Word document (to copy text)
Download Discussion Guide to Talking Jesus as a PDF (to distribute)

The 20 questions will take 90 minutes to discuss so be selective:

  1. Check out the hope of the authors at the end of the Introduction. Is this a hope you share?
  2. On p4 you will find background information about the survey. Does this raise any questions?
  3. Summary headlines on p5 are key. Does anything there surprise/shock/challenge/excite you?
  4. The rest of the report is the evidence. P7 top right has figures re. education. Is it a surprise?
  5. P8 is a map. Where do you live and do the figures re. ‘Practicing Christians’ feel ‘right’?
  6. P9 suggests how many people think Jesus a real/fictional person? Does it change what we say?
  7. Middle of p10 graph has surprised some people. Does it surprise you?
  8. P11 suggests belief in the resurrection is more common than we might think. Discuss.
  9. Consider the most popular descriptions of Jesus (p 12). How ‘positive’ is this?
  10. What % (p13) of Christians believe it is a responsibility to talk of Jesus? Do you share this view?
  11. There has been much debate about confidence in the gospel (p14). Are you surprised?
  12. Middle of p 15 figure re frequency of evangelism has amazed some. Is this your experience?
  13. Self-defining ‘Practicing Christian’ may produce a natural bias (p15). Discuss if this is significant.
  14. Compare our perception of evangelism (p16/17) and the reception (p20/21). Is that expected?
  15. Some articles question evangelism and the response (p20). Do the Gospels shed light on this?
  16. A critical chart is bottom p20 re positive/negative experience. How good is a ‘1 in 5’ interest?
  17. ‘Shocked’ was a word used about middle p21 in an article. Are you shocked by this statement?
  18. ‘Faith journey’ findings (p22) might make a difference to evangelism. How should it?
  19. The influences to ‘become a Christian’ (p23) have surprised some. Are you surprised?
  20. The Ten Recommendations (p25) are for church leaders. Do you agree with them?

Commendation to read from CTE Presidents

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