When we hear the word “confess,” this often conjures in our minds images of someone being badgered on the witness stand, with the prosecutor calling upon them to “Confess!” Or it might call to mind our corporate confession of sins during Divine Service on Sundays, during which we recall our sins, confess them, and ask absolution for them through the blood of Jesus.
But there is another meaning to confession we rarely consider: a shared profession of faith. That is, to confess is to state a sincerely held faith that is held in common with others.
You can see this usage of the term in some of the documents in the Book of Concord — for example, the Augsburg Confession.
Stewardship encompasses many things — because to be a steward is to care for something, in this case the church, on behalf of its true owner. So to be a steward encompasses literally every possible task.
One of the foremost tasks of the members of a church is to introduce others who don’t attend our church to our common confession.
Though in some cases churches can thrive simply through membership of families and extended families, that is not always the case. Usually, in the long run, for a church to thrive, new members must be brought in.
And this is not a selfish thing. Remember what our confession is all about: bringing the Gospel to people so that the Holy Spirit will inspire faith, so that they can be reunited with their holy Father through belief in Christ Jesus.
So what I’d like you to think about is speaking with a friend, a family member, a co-worker or maybe even just someone you run into in town … and asking them to come to church with you.
Don’t be disappointed or take it personally if they politely put you off or otherwise turn down the invitation. It isn’t personal.
A lot of times, the only reason a person hasn’t come to church is because nobody has asked them.
So be the one who asked, and you could help change a life.