Updated: Oct 24
Pete Nicholas is a pastor in London, which is to say he ministers in a place that is spiritually akin to Davis only with an attractive accent. In such a challenging spiritual environment, he was interested in the questions Christians most frequently encounter from their spiritually curious friends. He wanted to know what the hot topics were, and how to better engage with them on the pressing questions of life and faith. So, he conducted a poll* to compile the biggest questions that the spiritually curious were asking their Christian friends. Can you guess what was the most common topic?
(Cue the Jeopardy theme song at this point…)
Happiness. As in, “Where can I find happiness?” In fact, nearly half of the Christians polled reported that this was the question for their spiritually curious friends. They’re not alone. Christians are on a quest for happiness too: it is part of the air we breathe in the Western world. From the Declaration of Independence’s commitment to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” to the over 43 million views of the TED Talk on happiness called, What Makes a Good Life? – we long to know how to be happy.
That is why I have recently been more intrigued with Jesus’ own theory of happiness outlined in the Beatitudes. Of course, Jesus uses the word, blessed, instead of happy, but that’s because he conceives of a more substantial and longer lasting version of happiness than our version of happiness suggests. As a result, his theory of happiness looks counterintuitive. Jesus challenges so many of our assumptions about happiness we might even describe it as an Upside Down Happiness.
All of this is why I am so excited for our Fall Focus called, Upside Down Happiness. From FBC Kids to all in the Worship Service, we are going to dig into the Beatitudes and let Jesus answer the question, “Where can I find happiness?” That way, we will not only know where to go in our quest for happiness, but can also point our spiritually curious friends there as well. And the best way to get the most out of the Fall Focus is to join a group, which you can do here.
We want to pursue true happiness together in our Upside Down Happiness series. Don’t miss out! Join us on Sunday (and invite a spiritually curious friend to join you!) and catch up on any sermon you may miss online. This is a conversation worth sharing with your spiritually curious friends: as Pete Nicholas reminded us, it’s the thing they have the biggest questions about. Keep links to our podcasts, sermons and more on hand: they’re great resources to share.
Expectantly yours in Christ,
*The answers to the poll Pete Nicholas conducted became the basis for his book, A Place for God. I highly recommend it, so take a look here.