Milton Jones: Christianity, comedy and changing perspectives

Likening himself to "a car that breaks down a lot, but is happy to try and give lifts", comedian Milton Jones spoke to LICC about his faith, sharing it, and how God can take a joke.

Describing his faith, Jones said, "I believe in God because of a gut feeling that the universe is not just a massive fluke."

After "outing" himself as a Christian during his teenage years, the comedian said he has had "a sense of peace and purpose, an inner force guiding and taking care of me."

Without this security, he might not have gone into comedy at all. "I don't think I would have had the courage to... on my own," he said.

Contrary to the idea that comedy and religion fail to happily co-exist, Jones said, "It's easy to see the church as a sort of bullied boy in the playground that won't fight back.

"But God is big enough to take criticism or take a joke. There's something pretty insecure about feeling the need to do God's work or protect him."

On the comedy circuit there is "quite a softness towards 'thinking' Christianity" and many comedians come from Christian backgrounds," Jones added.

"Ultimately a lot of comedy is dealing with the truth, about life and what it's all about. The same is true of faith."

Jones said that his faith has been central to his road to comedy, but also key to sustaining him during the good and bad times that touring inevitably brings.

"On a good day I love being able to enjoy the moment, while knowing that this isn't all there is," he said.

"I think that's a key thing about being a Christian in any environment, not just comedy – it changes your whole outlook because no matter how bad (or even good) things are, you know that there is more to life.

"It gives you a completely different perspective. And it helps me not to hold any success too tightly."

Recalling one failed attempt to share his faith, he said he "once stood in my local high street and asked God to reveal people's names to me so that I could start a conversation with them.

"The 'conversation' went something like. "Hey is your name John? No? Peter? Colin... hey come back!'"

Rather than words on a stage, or one off encounters, Jones said, for him "it's more about the people I'm with and the way I conduct myself in that environment.

"I'm on tour with a manager and a support act and a promoter and an agent, in a car, 12 hours a day, five days a week. There's no hiding there.

"If you say nice words but you're a pig during the week, that will come out. So that's really where the cutting edge is rather than the words. The words are 2 per cent.

"At the end of the day I'm committed to the comedy community and I'll have ups and downs with them. Yes, I do speak to people about God occasionally, but it's about being with them and loving them where they are and that's a long term thing. That's my responsibility."

Milton Jones was interviewed by LICC as part of their 'Messengers of the Gospel' series seeking to encourage and equip Christians in evangelism in the run up to Christmas.