Personal faith statements reflect an individual’s thoughts about his relationship with God, church and Jesus Christ. Writers commonly use phrases beginning with " believe," include anecdotal accounts to describe their faith journeys and cite scriptures. Although usually only one typewritten page or less in length, no standard format exists for statements of personal faith; they are as individual as the people writing them.
Sources of Inspiration
Some people use questions to help them define their beliefs. For example, asking yourself why and when you pray, or how you feel when you don't pray, can clarify your position about communication with God. Others find reading Bible passages helpful, such as New Testament verses that relate actions Jesus took, to reach their own conclusions about who Christ was and what he represents to them. Personal faith statements can develop from favorite Bible verses or the lyrics to a favorite hymn. Discuss why you find them meaningful and relate this to various theological and ecclesiastical topics.
After contemplating what religion means to you and organizing your thoughts, begin by describing in your own words who God is and what the Trinity signify to you. Touch on your feelings about Christ and his role in your salvation, your interpretation of salvation and grace, and how the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. In addition to discussing the significance the Bible holds foryou, you might include the role of prayer and how you pray. Your statement of personal faith may have one, all-encompassing paragraph covering these theological basics; devote a paragraph to each; combine some and highlight others separately; or use bullet points.
Your opinions about the role of the church, the importance of Communion and your responsibilities as a Christian belong in your personal faith statement. Some people provide examples of actions they take or activities in which they participate and relate these to how they help fulfill the church's mission to help those less fortunate and to spread God's word. Those writing a personal faith statement as part of an application to theological school or for a teaching position at a faith-based school would tie their professional callings to what they feel is God's plan for them.
Affirmation of Denominational Beliefs
Members of a congregation facing installation as church officers such as elders or deacons, and young people becoming members through completion of the Confirmation process should profess agreement with their denomination's traditions and beliefs in their personal faith statements. Examples include the denomination's stance on baptism, the Word of God and worship, and any creeds used to define its basic beliefs.
- Making Disciples, Making Leaders: A Manual for Developing Church Officers; Steven P. Eason
- Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hagerstown, Maryland: Faith Statement Guide
- Philadelphia Presbytery: Suggestions for Preparing a Statement of Faith
- Episcopal Diocese of Chicago: Purposeful Living
- Saints in Mission: Confirmation Faith Statements
- South Pacific University: Writing Faith Development Narratives for Pre-Tenure, Promotion and Tenure Review Files
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