Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” –Exodus 4:10
When I’m trying to quiet down a group at church, I know exactly what to say:
“Would anybody like to close us with a prayer?”
That scenario plays out time and again, in my current church and every other church I’ve ever served. It doesn’t really stress me out too much. Many folks don’t feel comfortable sharing their faith out loud, in prayer or testimony. I’m used to it.
I will step in and do my priestly duty, offering up a prayer to close out a meeting, but I wonder: Who’s fault is it that Christians today struggle so much with this?
Maybe it’s God’s fault.
Remember the call of Moses? When Moses claims he’s “slow of speech and tongue”, God lets him off the hook, and allows Aaron to do the public speaking instead.
By this time, I think Moses had just worn God down with all his “No’s” for why he was the wrong man for the job. God even offered to train Moses in how to share his faith publically, but Moses was resistant. So God relented.
It probably wasn’t what God intended, but generation after generation has been using this same “slow of speech and tongue” excuse to avoid communicating in faith and prayer. If Moses didn’t have to speak up, then neither should we, right?
Hmm. That’s our mistake. That’s less like Moses, and more like Errin’. Maybe it’s our fault for taking the easy way out. Or the church’s for seeing this as “the pastor’s job”.
The truth is, many folks really do want to share their faith — it’s just a matter of know-how, comfort, and practice. Of making it a priority.
This Fall, I’m launching Faithsharing 101 classes at my church. In 4 short weeks the goal is to help people feel more comfortable praying out loud, articulating why they’re a Christian, and even sharing some about their faith story with others. This is not a class in evangelism or door-to-door witnessing. It’s a class in finding the right words, and feeling good about sharing them.
Can this be done in 4 weeks? I don’t know. Maybe God was short on time with Moses and didn’t have a month to set him on the right path. It will at least be a good start.
I think God wants all believers to be able to express themselves. To offer a prayer in the midst of those who are gathered. To spread Good News through words and stories.
It took some time, but God helped Moses eventually find his voice. And Aaron found his role in this new community of Hebrews, too. God assures us that there’s a place for all of us, and sends the Spirit to help us find our voices.
We just have to practice saying ‘Yes” when God calls us.
Would anybody be willing to close us in prayer?
Have a great week,