This year’s Bishops’ Lent challenge sounds straightforward: simply to have conversations with our friends, family, colleagues, or people we just bump into in our daily life.
How can that be a challenge?
Often the conversations we have are on the same topics (you can probably name them!) or they are about practicalities like who is going to get the tea. This challenge provides an excuse to grapple with some simple questions about life, death and everything in between.
In a society where loneliness is on the rise, it’s good to find ways of connecting with those around us and having meaningful conversations.
Are they all ‘Christian’ questions?
No! These are questions, big and small, on a variety of topics about life, the world and faith.
These are everyday questions that many of us wonder about, even if we wouldn’t usually have a conversation about them.
What happens if I don’t know the answers?
Don’t worry, this is about conversation, not about answers! The Challenge is two fold:
· To listen to someone else’s viewpoint
· To ask ourselves how our own answers connect to what we believe
How do I get started?
We’ve produced a pack of question cards, suitable for people of all ages. The question can be used in any way you want but in the pack there are some suggestions to get you started. You can even use the questions with a Lent Group or school class if you want to. We’ll share the questions each day from Ash Wednesday (26 February) on our Twitter and Facebook feeds with the hashtag #40questions. We’ll also share some very short videos of people of all ages having a go at some of the questions, just as a conversation starter!
A sneak preview:
Find someone, perhaps someone in your family from a different generation. Pick one of the questions below. Either just discuss the question with them or set a timer for 30 seconds and each of you has that time to give your response before you discuss how your answers were the same or different.
· Should all bad people be punished? (from the Life section)
· How would you describe God? (from the Faith section)
· What makes you angry enough to do something about it? (from the World section)
Have a look at a sample video, which considers the question ‘Is there life on other planets?’, filmed with the help of pupils from Danesfield Church of England Middle School in Somerset.