What do they think about the deeper questions of life? Orâ€"better yetâ€"what do YOU think? Have you given it much thought?
Who are you? Why are we here? Is there a purpose to human life? Why can't we all just get along? What is the cause of wars? Would we be better off without religion? Is there a God? If there is, what is he like? Is God just whatever we want him to be?
These are the questions that get the mind humming. And when we ask each other about them, it can reveal a lot about our assumptions and the way we view our lives in the big scheme of things. The answers to these questions dig into the core of who we are as individuals and also how we live our lives in our local and global communities.
But how do you get onto these big questions? They're not your typical Sunday brunch conversation fodder (well, perhaps unless you've all just come from church and are musing on the pastor's sermon together!).
At the university campus where I work with Christian students, we hold these things called MOLDI dinners. Despite the name, the food is always delicious and the conversation leaves people wanting more. MOLDI stands for 'Meaning of life discussed intelligently'.
It's an evening where people are deliberately invited by their friends to come and 'chew the fat' on some of life's bigger questions.
There are often starter questions to get the conversational ball rolling, but usually, after one or two questions, it's a matter of chasing the ball as it bounces through intellectual, philosophical, theological and scientific debates. By the end of the dinner, people have so enjoyed their opportunity to say what they think, the night continues on elsewhere with coffee, dessert, and more discussion.
You don't have to be a university student to do these dinners. Anyone can do them, at any time! The trick is, make sure you have a mix of viewpoints at the table, or things become boring and one-sided. If you believe something in particular, then invite someone who believes the opposite – and take the opportunity to sharpen your views, broaden your understanding of how other people think.
So why not give it a go? Ask some friends around and be up front with the purpose of the dinner. When people know that the dinner is for chatting about the bigger questions of life, then preconceived ideas of pleasant dinner chatter about the mundane things (career, the weather, what's happening in the news, where did you get that lovely jacket?) can safely be left at the door.
For Christians, these dinners are a pleasant opportunity to share what you believe and how your belief informs your everyday actions and responses to the world. What is it that verse says about having answers? Of course, 1 Peter 3 verses 15-16 "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…"
So with gentleness and respect, keep in mind that the dinner is not an altar call.
And don't hog all the time to explain theological intricacies; the aim of the dinner is to hear a multitude of voices, not just your own.
Hearing other people's perspective is helpful to sharpening your own apologetics tools, hearing out people's assumptions and misunderstandings about Christianity, and being able to share the good news of Jesus, and how he makes a real life difference.
Sometimes it's a bit awkward. Christian things can seem so foreign when they're explained to someone unfamiliar with it. Or someone who has heard some wacky stuff about Christianity, but has never thought it through as a cohesive system of belief.
But we can have confidence that the words we speak about Jesus are words of eternal life. God will use these words to fulfil His purposes; he just asks us to speak first!
Sarah Urmston is based in Melbourne and shares a 5x7m flat with her husband, Stephen. She works with RMIT Melbourne's Christian Union group as an apprentice, and loves the privilege of sharing Jesus with the students. Since beginning student ministry, her desire – nay – need for coffee has grown exponentially.
Sarah Urmston's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sarah-urmston.html