If you found this resource then you are probably looking to have the following question answered: “What is a faith statement?” You might also be trying to be find thoughtful advice on how to write a statement of faith. Christians write faith statements for confirmation, job applications, entrance into a church ministry, and Christian college and university applications.
This article will highlight the process for writing a good faith statement through various statement of faith examples, as well as advice from Christians with experience on the topic. It will also include faith statement outlines so you know what a statement of faith should include.
The motivation for creating this resource came after our launch of Lord’s Library last year. As a Christian media startup with a clear mission, we knew we had to construct a professional faith statement that our readers could reference. Our creation would also act as the personal statement of faith of our founders, making it a daunting task.
This article offers everything one needs to know when asking “what is a faith statement?” or when looking for a template on how to write a statement of faith.
What is a Faith Statement?
A statement of faith is a description of spiritual belief as it pertains to an individual or community organization, structured by summarizing core tenets. Faith statements commonly include a description of belief on various Christian topics, including the nature of God, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Bible, creation, salvation, revelation, the role of the Church, denominational association, and how those beliefs are relevant to an individual’s personal mission, a ministry, or organization.
A statement of faith is not dissimilar to a creed, which is a confession of faith or a symbol representing it. The earliest known creed in Christianity was written by Paul the Apostle and states “Jesus is Lord.“
Personal vs. Professional Faith Statements; What’s the Difference?
It may be a surprise to learn that no standard format exists for how to write a statement of faith, and they can be as unique as the individual or community organization writing them. A personal faith statement is akin to a creed while a professional statement of faith could be comparable to a Christian-centric mission statement. There are many organizations though, like Lord’s Library, that choose to align their professional faith statements with the personally-held beliefs of their founders.
One might write a personal statement of faith for confirmation, which is sometimes required as a prerequisite for youths to attain membership in a church. Young adults are commonly tasked with writing a faith statement as part of the application process to a Christian college or university along with a personal essay. Or maybe you’re an outspoken Christian with a personal blog and you want your readers to know where you stand on key ecumenical issues. However, one should be guarded not to write a statement of faith for the sole purpose of showing Biblical knowledge.
A professional statement of faith follows along this same path, but is often written for a business purpose or for acceptance into a community organization or church ministry. You might also want to write a professional faith statement if you’re starting your own Christian ministry or commercial project, like we are doing here at Lord’s Library. Our guess is that this is growing increasingly more common due to the pandemic and digital transformation that has come as a result of it.
Christian companies may require a statement of faith for their records and as part of the application process which shows you agree with their overall mission. The same might be true for installation as a church officer such as elders or deacons. In one good example we found in our research, a church may require members to be in general agreement on doctrine while understanding that different people may word things differently.
In summary, personal and professional faith statements can differ depending on the writer and the purpose, but the goal should remain largely the same.
How to Write a Statement of Faith: Key Elements to Include
It can be a difficult process to put your personally held spiritual beliefs onto paper for multiple reasons. First, you may be worried about shutting others out who don’t have the same set of values. You might also be concerned with forgetting a key point. However, learning how to write a statement of faith can be an excellent exercise, both because it makes you contemplate deeply what you believe, and because it’s an ideal way to start communicating the faith with others.
We recommend beginning the process in prayer, asking The Lord for spiritual guidance on how best to communicate your declaration. Then you can begin to script your faith statement by starting with an outline of key elements that will act as a foundation of belief. And since the goal of a statement of faith is to communicate spiritual belief, scripture ought to be used whenever possible. Next, begin adding supporting scriptures to your faith statement outline to build it out.
A statement of faith can feature one all-encompassing paragraph that covers theological basics. Some may choose to devote an entire paragraph to each theological section, while others might combine some and highlight others specifically for added effect on a particular point. There are also faith statements which present as simple bullet point lists. The format isn’t important. Rather, the sequence and organization of the topics will make the statement distinct and personal.
To help you build out an outline, we listed below a number of key elements to consider including in your personal statement of faith.
- The nature of God the Father
- The nature of Jesus Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- The Trinity
- Inerrancy of Scripture and the Bible
- Role of the Church
- Revelation (or eschatology)
- Sin (or good and evil)
- Heaven and Hell
- Human nature
- Your mission (as it pertains to the above)
These are the most common examples we discovered during our research and analysis of various faith statements from across the web. You may choose to add additional topics to this framework.
Statement of Faith Examples and Advice to Consider
Below we link out to several statement of faith examples from different Christian doctrines to help save you time:
- Association of Classical Christian Schools
- First Baptist Atlanta (Georgia)
- Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
- American Anglican Council
- Presbyterian Mission
We also thought it would be helpful to include tidbits of advice from other Christians who may have written their own faith statements in the past. So we took to LinkedIn and polled those in some of the most popular Christian user groups. The hope is that the advice they offered can be of some assistance as you begin your own writing process:
- “Recognizing that you are probably writing your statement for a reason, I would hope the reason does not color your language. That is, don’t say what you want others to hear, rather write what you have come to believe.” – Paul Mannes, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at Washington University of Virginia in Theology for Today
- “The statement must be Christ centered.” – Anthony Luckett, Pastor of Saint Paul Church in Milwaukee, WI in Bivocational Ministry
- “Be truthful and fearless. Tell what you truly experienced with God through His Son by the way His given Holy Spirit.” – Vicki Gann, Founder of Love4Love Ministry in Assemblies of God Ministers
- “If going it alone, a statement of faith should be built on a strong foundation and understanding of scripture with clearly articulated doctrinal points and a liberal use of Biblical citations.” – Lonnie Williams, Pastoral Counselor at Bethel Christian Church in Warren, MI in Inside Pastoral Care & Counseling
Are you currently writing your own statement of faith? Have tips, tricks, or techniques to share? Let us know!
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