In the past week, I have run into three conversations with strangers about faith, spirituality, & the way of Jesus. Spending so much of my time on developing a community of faith here in Phoenix, I often have these types of conversations with people I meet. As people ask the obligatory, "So what do you do for a living?" it inevitably launches the conversation deep into spiritual territory. But I have conversations like this once or twice a month and they typically last 3-5 minutes. This week I have had three of them each lasting 30-45 minutes. I haven't done anything different this week – I haven't worn any "I love Jesus, ask me about it" t-shirts or got out the old, "Know Jesus Know Peace, No Jesus No Peace" bumper sticker. I have just run into these interesting (and welcomed) conversations. With each new person I talk to, I learn more about the local perspective on things of faith, on the church, and on Jesus. Here are some themes I am hearing consistently:
I should qualify that the people who I have had these discussions with would be considered non-Christians by a conservative, evangelical crowd (they don't go to church and can't articulate that the death of Jesus of the Cross and his subsequent resurrection are events in which they trust as the necessary substitutionary death for forgiveness of their sins and a redeemed relationship with God). I am assuming that these voices represent the larger voice and perspective of our local culture here in Phoenix. I will continue my research :).