Posted by: celticanglican | January 23, 2011

Are We Sharing Our Beliefs Effectively?

A recent conversation with a member of a local “megachurch” brought the issue of faith sharing to mind. In the course of the conversation, he mentioned where he went to church, offered an invite, and hinted that many of its current members though they’d never leave their churches, but liked it better there. I realized after the conversation that I could have done a better job of sharing why I attend the type of church that I do.

I think a lot of us have a tendency to hold back on sharing our beliefs when we shouldn’t. In my case, I think a few heated discussions I’ve had with members of a denomination commonly regarded as a cult have influenced me. For others, it’s the old admonition “never to discuss religion”, even though the Bible implies otherwise.
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Jude 1:3 NIV (1984 edition)

Book of Common Prayer, p. 268 “Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us, we confess to you, Lord”
Maybe we need to periodically think of whether we’re commending that faith. While the parishes I’ve had experience with have been effective in teaching candidates for confirmation about the basics of the faith, I think even longtime members should consider a “refresher”. Which is better, to be able to answer others’ about what we believe and why, or to not? I think I know which I’d choose.

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Responses

  1. Great post! When discussing spiritual matters with people listening is key! It’s very important to patiently give people an opportunity flesh out their issues as they understand them. That said, I think it’s also important to be ready to share what your faith means to you personally rather than what it could perhaps mean to them, of course you need to have a certain comfort in handling scripture and in using yourself as an example which some do not. I think about the meaning of the gospels and about my testimony quite a bit, I look for ways that I’m similar to others and also ways that I’m different so that I can present it most effectively to specific people. The Spirit opens doors for us everyday, I’ve found that the vast majority of the work of evangelism is in the planting and nurturing of truth in people, not in the harvest.

    We share our beliefs most effectively when we love most effectively!

  2. Good response! I think that’s an important point that many don’t remember.


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