Yes, I’ll do my best to “share, share, share my faith Ev-’ry day,” as the old chorus urges, but instead of the anxious, hurried approach that “no time for delay” and “hasten” suggest, now I take my time. More importantly, I give whatever time another child of God may need.  

February 29, 2024

Sharing Faith, Sharing Time

I’ll share my faith with others on life’s way. I’ll share my faith; There’s no time for delay. When Jesus calls for volunteers, I’ll hasten to...

I’ll share my faith with others on life’s way. 

I’ll share my faith; There’s no time for delay. 

When Jesus calls for volunteers, I’ll hasten to obey. 

I’ll share, share, share my faith Ev-‘ry day! 

Rayno Victor

From our seats high in the balcony, I recognized one man below on the platform. He wore a black suit and carried an accordion. He had visited my school. Now he was teaching us a new song, his own composition. In my 10-year-old mind, recognition meant friendship. Pastor John H. Hancock was my friend, and here we were, singing with many of the 10,000 Missionary Volunteers gathered for one purpose--to share our faith.  

It had been a long drive from my family’s home in Loma Linda to the 1948 North American Youth’s Congress in San Francisco. As we set about mastering Pastor Hancock’s catchy chorus, we couldn’t have guessed it would soon be published in the Singing Youth and become one of our denomination’s musical rallying calls for the next 50 years.  

After the singing, various speakers addressed us.  “Let your enthusiastic joy of salvation overflow to others,” one speaker urged. “Bear witness by word and deed that you are ‘not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,’” another counseled. A third charged us to “Live the truth, speak the truth, write the truth, and be willing to die for the truth.” That one really troubled me.  

Recently, some older, larger boys had stormed into my fourth-grade classroom during morning worship, demanding that we provide answers to support our beliefs. This disruption, a skit of sorts, was meant to impress upon us the urgency of memorizing key Bible texts. Now, listening to the Youth Congress speakers, fear returned. I didn’t want to die for my faith—or for any other reason. 

The belief and duty to share my faith followed me into adulthood. I remember the stresses of a particular Sabbath. Somehow, I got our five little ones dressed, fed, and ready for church. Once there, I managed to keep them quiet through early church, then successfully delivered them to their respective Sabbath School rooms. Back in my own Sabbath School class, the personal ministries director encouraged us to take the new tracts he was holding and distribute them—that very afternoon! “People are hungry,” he insisted. “We need to feed them spiritually.” 

Our family rushed home after church, gobbled down the lunch that I had left warming in the oven, and the smallest children were settled for a nap. Their father happily joined them, and after some bribery, the older children did too. Finally, I was free to leave my family and share my faith. 

I knocked on doors for several blocks. The reception was varied. Some were welcoming. Others were less so. I don’t remember much from that afternoon other than a vague sense of internal satisfaction that I had fulfilled my Christian responsibility.  

Years later, when our children were grown and in their own homes, my desire to share my faith led me to seek more knowledge and qualifications. I decided to become a hospital chaplain, a vocation requiring an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education and a graduate degree from the seminary. I completed both.  

My early days as a chaplain were rewarding and challenging. I struggled to prepare and deliver Sunday morning worship services for any who might come to the hospital chapel when I was on duty. I was to share God’s love, offer comfort and support, but proselytizing was forbidden. I had always believed that sharing my faith meant trying to persuade others to become Seventh-day Adventists. Offering empathy, sympathy, and compassion at a patient’s bedside came naturally to me, but during those Sunday worship services, I worried that I might offend someone. “Sharing my faith” was not getting any easier.  

While in seminary, I learned about spiritual companionship. I sensed God leading me to seek out that spiritual friend. I found a woman of strong faith and clear spiritual direction. We began meeting regularly. She helped me see that while I knew a lot about God, I really didn’t know God. 

Seeking a sustaining relationship with the Divine, I reread The Desire of Ages. There I learned, “our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience” (p. 347; emphasis added). Suddenly, I realized that the tension I felt about faith-sharing had its origin in the tempter. I recognized that faith is intimately connected with how I live my life every day. It extends far beyond doctrines accepted since childhood. I kept reading, embracing Ellen White’s comments in a chapter discussing Jesus’s baptism: “The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, ‘This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased’” (p. 113).  

I still struggle with the nitty gritty of living. Life is difficult. Hope and trust only come through knowing that He sees me as His beloved daughter. I realize now that faith-sharing takes more than resolve and commitment. It takes time. Often it involves sitting with someone who is struggling. Asking for and offering spiritual companionship requires vulnerability. Trusting and sharing take time. For me, faith-sharing is a slow and steady process. It cannot be rushed or consigned solely to evangelistic imperatives from the pulpit. Faith-sharing is less about preaching and more about listening. It is less about instructing and more about relating.  

To share faith, to share anything requires developing and exercising the mutual gift of knowing and being known. Jesus modelled this gift-giving and gift-receiving when he walked among us. He knew others. He spent time with them, so they could know him. Yes, I’ll do my best to “share, share, share my faith Ev-’ry day,” as the old chorus urges, but instead of the anxious, hurried approach that “no time for delay” and “hasten” suggest, now I take my time. More importantly, I give whatever time another child of God may need.  

Delcy Kuhlman has called Southwest Michigan home since 1953. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and especially sitting with people and seeking God. She gratefully acknowledges writing and editing assistance from her friend, Beverly Matiko. 

Hancock, John H. “I’ll Share My Faith.” 1949. Singing Youth. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1953. 

Skinner, L.A. “Share Your Faith in ’48.” The Youth’s Instructor. 6 Apr. 1948, pp. 1, 20. 

White, Ellen G. The Desire of Ages: The Conflict of the Ages Illustrated in the Life of Christ. 1898. Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1940.