When two of the UK’s most loved Christian authors got together to write Seriously Funny, the results spoke for themselves.
Jeff Lucas and Adrian Plass
On the seriously funny tour
Adrian Plass’s and Jeff Lucas’s book achieved 5 star reviews and the status of most popular UK Christian book of the year. The duo have since conducted two tours, taking their unique perspectives on the road to encourage, entertain and provoke Christians.
Now they’re preparing to do it all over again. Starting in November, the two much loved authors will be visiting Southwell, Bristol, Reading, London and Bangor.
Serious and funny
Jeff isn’t afraid to laugh at himself as he describes the title of his book - Seriously Funny 2 as “incredibly unimaginative”.
“Seriously Funny means this is going to be significantly or very funny whereas actually the title is intended to say there’s going to be serious stuff here and funny stuff here.
“We didn’t want to just do more of the same but go several levels deeper. That may get us into trouble. I was just scanning through the manuscript this morning and if I was a betting man I’d say it probably will. But truth sets us free and we want to see more of that relief and freedom in the church. If there are some reactions, we’ll just have to cope with that.”
The rejuvenating spiritual power of a cuppa
Intrigued, I press for more information. What will be so controversial?
“Adrian talks about his thoughts on how he probably wouldn’t like to attend an orgy which is fairly fascinating. We talk about the rejuvenating spiritual power of a cup of tea.”
“We talk fairly radically about guidance and how Christians get themselves tied up about that. I discuss the absurdity of preaching. I’m completely committed to preaching as a vehicle of communication but there’s a certain absurdity about any woman or man actually standing up and believing they have something to say on behalf of the God of the universe. It’s a fairly bewildering notion.”
Fed up of excitement?
Perhaps the secret to the Seriously Funny books and tours success is the willingness to discuss topics that Christians often think about but rarely verbalise.
“Some Christians suggest or imply they are endlessly excited about being Christians. At times speaking at lots of Christian events I get exhausted by the demand of having to be that excited all of the time. When the worship leader says ‘isn’t it great for all of us to be together’, deep down inside of us a lot of us are thinking ‘no’.
When the worship leader says ‘isn’t it great for all of us to be together’, deep down inside of us a lot of us are thinking ‘no’.
“We’re not jaundice or negative or sour about anything, we just want to be honest about some of the facts and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This is not a sniping attack on anybody or anything but in the midst of that on going commitment we want to keep it real.
“Occasionally that means it might sound like we’re being a bit grumpy. I’m 56 and Adrian is in his mid 60s but a lot of the questions we’re asking are the same questions the 20s and 30s generation are asking.”
An interactive tour
The pair are excited to tour again and are promising completely new material. The conversational style means that almost anything could be discussed. Plus, a new feature for this year’s tour allows audience members to text in questions and topics for Jeff and Adrian to discuss – a thought Jeff finds both exciting and terrifying!
“It can be quite poignant because those questions reveal deep hurts. The great thing about the tour is one minute we can be having a big laugh and the next minute we’re all quite tearful. The questions and weaving of the conversation make that happen, it’s definitely not scripted.”
“It sounds a bit cliché but both Adrian and I enjoy the fact we get to meet people who come along to the tour. We do the book signing thing and that allows for quite a lot of one on one encounters with people and you get to hear some of their stories and realise there are some amazing, faithful people out there who are quietly getting on with following Jesus without any fanfare or spotlight.
“They don’t experience spiritual fireworks and for most of them God is fairly quiet, but they get on with it and that’s always incredibly inspiring. The two tours we’ve done we’ve come away from them exhausted from the travelling and process but encouraged and strengthened by the encounters.”
The mixture of comedy and down to earth honesty even helped one person to stay sane.
“I had an email who said this book has helped me to not go insane. They were feeling like they were losing it in the midst of the confusion that’s sometimes created by the church and some clichés.”
But Jeff says the most fun anecdote from both the book and the tour was inspired by one elderly lady who laughed so much that she wet herself during one event.
“We wondered whether more churches should measure their effectiveness by checking how many people wet themselves during services. It was fun to see this dear old lady just so enjoying herself. She laughed quite a lot with fairly cataclysmic results."
We wondered whether more churches should measure their effectiveness by checking how many people wet themselves during services.
“The sense of people being affirmed, encouraged and not alone in the thoughts they have, being entertained and most of all realising God loves them. Although that’s the basics of the Christian faith, Adrian and I concluded that most Christians deep deep deep down are not totally sure that they are loved by God. There were moments in the tour where we would pause and prayerfully hope that news would sink in.”
“You look around at a sea of shining eyes and you realise that although we say this and proclaim it, how much to we believe it and how deep does it really go?
- SOUTHWELL 27th November
- BRISTOL 28th November
- READING 29th November
- LONDON 30th November
- BANGOR, NI 13th December
Tickets are £15 on the door or £12 in advance. Full details and booking for Seriously Funny Tour Click here. Use the code EDEN12 online to receive a £2 discount (offer valid until 5 November 2012)
October 16th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes