When was the last time you talked God? Jonathan Merritt, a contributing writer to The Atlantic, recently wrote an article for The New York Times (based on his new book Learning to Speak God from Scratch) about the decline of our spiritual vocabulary. He sponsored a survey of 1,000 American adults to see how we talk about our faith, spirituality and God. Here’s a bit of what he found: This study revealed that most Americans — more than three-quarters, actually — do not often have spiritual or religious conversations….More than one- fifth of respondents admit they have not had a spiritual conversation at all in the past year. Six in 10 say they had a spiritual conversation only on rare occasions — either “once or twice” (29 percent) or “several times” (29 percent) in the past year. A paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly . . . But here’s the real shocker: Practicing Christians who attend church regularly aren’t faring much better. A mere 13 percent had a spiritual conversation around once a week.
Why are we so afraid to talk about God? There are a lot of different reasons. For some, these conversations create tension or arguments. They sometimes feel “too political.” Others don’t want to appear religious, sound weird or seem like “that person” who is trying to get you to convert. We might feel as if we don’t know enough to share our faith or feel as if talking about our faith is someone else’s job. But it isn’t. As a beloved member of the body of Christ, you have been called to love God and love your neighbor.
One way we love our neighbor is by sharing what’s important to us. If your faith makes a difference in your life, then we should offer that to our friends and family. You don’t need a theology degree to share Jesus. All you need to do is share your story. You might not believe that’s enough when it comes to talking about God but it is. And Jesus believes you can do it.
One way to help us talk about God is to start noticing God at work in the world around us. On the following page, I’ve shared a God bingo-card created by Rev. Sarah Taylor. Take a look at where God is at work in the world – and let us know how you feel it out!
See you in church,