At the age of 16, I began my apprenticeship as an electrical maintenance engineer at the AEC, where the famous Route Master London buses were made. Today they might be used for weddings or school proms. At 18, I became a Christian. It didn’t take me long to realise that the language people used in the factory was very different to the language people used in church!
I was keen to share my faith with people I worked with. In the Bible, Jesus was happy to talk to fishermen and farmers using terms they would understand. Sometimes his opponents said a that Jesus mixed with the wrong sort of people. Would Jesus feel more at home talking in a factory or a church? I realised I had to use words for the factory rather than church words.
Eventually I became a minister and was determined to keep speaking in terms people would understand. Back in the 1970’s, all gas appliances had to be converted from town gas to North Sea Gas. So conversations in the village changed from discussions about the weather to ‘have you been converted yet?’ Christians describe the decision to follow Jesus as a conversion. That was the question I asked in a newsletter to the village: “Have you been converted yet?”
My conversion changed me from an anti-Christian, anti-church person to a believer in Jesus. As I read the Easter story in the Bible, I recognised my need to change. If you have a Bible somewhere in your house I would encourage you to see for yourself in one of the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Or talk to someone who you know who puts their faith into practice, who hopefully will describe it using language that makes sense to you today.