Have you ever had someone tell you that faith is a personal matter? Of course your faith is a personal matter. If you think about it, no one can make you believe something. You choose to believe what you hold to be true. Since, no one can make you believe it- everyone’s faith is a very personal matter.
I bet you’ve had someone also tell you that their faith is a private matter. By this statement they often mean that they just don’t want to talk about it. The statement can sometimes mean that they don’t want to hear you talk about your faith either. I’ll buy the statement that faith is a personal matter but I don’t buy that it is a private matter. In fact, for a follower of Jesus it should be a public matter.
How can your faith be both personal to you and be public at the same time? I’m glad you asked. Jesus commands us to make disciples. Many people translate the phrase “make disciples” to mean teach Jesus’ people. No question, there is a teaching aspect to making disciples but it is much more than just teaching. Making disciples in the Bible carries with it the idea of introducing someone to Jesus for the first time. Influencing them to accept Jesus as their Savior and then inviting them to see what a life devoted to Jesus looks like by watching you.
Therefore, every follower of Jesus who is actually making disciples is first sharing their faith in Jesus in a very public way. So, let me go back to the first question for just a minute- can faith be personal and private? Yes. Can it be personal and private at the same time that you are making disciples? No!
You can and should have a personal faith. Just remember, if your faith is private, you are not really making disciples.