Do you talk about your faith? In your casual conversations, do you use words like “God” or “Jesus” or “faith” as you talk with other people? I bet if we’re honest, many of us don’t. Speaking about our faith seems hard. We’re used to hearing about Jesus, not speaking about Jesus. Do you talk about your faith?
In one of our recent school chapel services, I asked our school kids to turn to a friend and say to them, “I care about you” and “Jesus loves you.” When they were done, I asked them how it went. A kindergartener in the front row loudly said, “Awkward!” He’s not the only one. For some reason, it can feel really awkward to talk with others about Jesus, even with our friends and families.
That’s surprising, because the Bible always connects faith in our hearts to speaking with our mouths. The apostle Paul wrote, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13). Believing and speaking are meant to go together in a Christian’s life. What’s in our hearts flows out of our mouths. Since faith in Jesus comes from hearing about Jesus, Christians speak about their faith to others, just as other Christians have spoken about their faith to us.
Do you think there’s a need today to speak our faith? There is! So many people need to hear about Jesus! My national church body—the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)—has lost over 70,000 members in the past 30 years. My own congregation didn’t have a single new unchurched person from our city join our church in all of 2019. Yet, 67% of the people of in my city aren’t involved in a Christian church! Here’s the most important stat: 100% of those who believe in Jesus will be saved. 0% of those who don’t believe in Jesus will be saved.
So what do we do? “We also believe and therefore speak.” I had the chance to attend three different conferences in the month of January in three different places with many different presenters. Surprisingly, however, I heard the same thing at each conference: God’s church grows one person at a time as Christians personally talk to others about their faith. We don’t need more programs at our church. We need God-given courage to speak about what we believe. That’s how it works, right? “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”
This month, think of a person or a family whom you could connect with. It starts with being their friend. It starts with caring about them. Think of how you can build your relationship with them over the next two months, so that when Easter rolls around on April 12th, you can invite them to hear about Jesus at your church. Awkward? Maybe. But Jesus is with you. He loves you. He’s filled your heart with faith in his love, forgiveness, and salvation. May God give each one of us the strength to speak our faith. It’s what Christians do! “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”