Liz and I have each had two interesting chats of late that give an interesting picture of religion in Ireland.

Conversation One:

About 3-weeks ago, we were at Friday Cricket Club with Méabh. Many families from Clontarf and especially Méabh’s school attend. Well, that night some moms got into a chat about where the kids will go to secondary school. The school Méabh goes to now is an Anglican school, so the likelihood is that many of her classmates will end up at the Anglican secondary school, Mount Temple.

One woman in our missional community (who was not at Cricket Club) does a lot of religious education with the older kids, including retreats. One of these girls told her mom she wanted to go for confirmation. Her mom replied that she didn’t need confirmation to get into Mount Temple. Her daughter replied, “I don’t care if I get into Mount Temple. I want to make my confirmation.”

The mom is upset. But eventually, the daughter was confirmed.

Many people of our generation in Ireland have given up on the church, are angry with it, and want to leave it in the past. Sadly what the church has done makes that understandable.

It will be fascinating to see what happens with this next generation, especially when so many of their parents want nothing to do with the church, or Jesus.

Keep younger generation in your prayer.

Conversation Two:

We were at a pub last night for an end of the year party for parents at Méabh’s school…although there are still two weeks of school left.

I was having a great conversation with I guy I was meeting for the first time and after about an hour the conversation rolled around to what we do.

Here’s what I’ve been saying lately,

“You know how so many people in Ireland are angry at the church and want nothing to do with it? We create safe spaces where people can explore faith and talk about Jesus.”

He looked at me and said,

“When you tell that to people, do you figure the average Irish person is looking at you and thinking ‘you are out of your f- – –cking mind’?”

It was only as I was writing this that one of my favourite passages of scripture came to mind, 2 Corinthians 5.

If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

2 Corinthians 5:13

So, at least I’m in good company!

The rest of the conversation went well. We talked about Jesus for another 10 minutes, and probably another hour after that. I may be out of my mind, but I at least I didn’t scare him off!

Please keep this guy in your prayers…I believe God wants to do something in his life.