So, you’d like to have a go at hosting a science-themed evangelistic event to invite friends and coursemates along to. But what topic to choose?
Whether it’s a meal with a message for 5 people, or a lunchbar for 50, having the right title can make all the difference in persuading people that your event is worth their time. Here are a few top tips on choosing a title that resonates.
Make it relevant
What questions about philosophy, ethics and faith are people on your course actually asking? There’s no point running an event titled ‘Can science and faith be compatible?’ if you have a diverse department where a variety of religions are represented, and everyone’s pretty comfortable with the idea of holding science and faith together. On the other hand, if that’s exactly the question your friends ask you all the time, it would be a great topic to address! Think about which topics in lectures or practicals tend to trigger a deeper level of conversation. These would be great topics to explore further in a talk or guided discussion!
Make it niche (maybe)
Make your title as specific as is appropriate for your intended audience. Planning an event that you can invite anyone to? Probably best to not go for a niche topic that only theoretical physicists care about. But planning a meal with a message for theoretical physicists? Go for it!
Make it snappy
Once you’ve settled on a topic, think about how you could express the idea in as few words as possible. Phrasing the title as a question is often effective, but not always necessary! Try and avoid yes/no questions where your answer will be obvious (‘Can you be a scientist and a Christian?’ is one such example).
Make it accurate
You don’t have to have the word ‘God’ or ‘Christianity’ in the title. If lots of the people you’re inviting are coming from a position where they haven’t expressed much interest in Christianity thus far, you might want to attract them by starting with a question they do feel invested in. But seeing as you’re inviting people to a gospel talk, make sure that other bits of your publicity or personal invitation make it clear that you’re going to talk about God. We don’t want people to feel like we’ve lured them in under false pretences only to spring Jesus on them unexpectedly.
Some examples of effective titles:
Has science made God redundant?
Science and Christianity: friends or foes?
Has science outgrown its religious roots?
Should science have limits?
Can science explain everything?
If we’re just matter, do we really matter?
Has science disproved the supernatural?
Is technology the best hope for humanity?
Humanity: intelligent machines or something more?
Climate crisis: who can save us from ourselves?
Still feel like you could use some help workshopping your title?
Drop the Science Network Coordinator an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they'd love to help you think through what would work in your context, and suggest some ideas for speakers.