I was once part of a faculty committee charged with rewriting the mission statement of our high school. Except for changing one preposition, I contributed little to the project. Where the original document stated that one of our school's main goals was to "convey faith in Jesus," I was able to convince the committee to change that statement to read "convey the faith of Jesus."
I never tire of reminding my students and readers of one of spiritual writer Fr. Ed Hays' most life-changing insights: "The original followers of Jesus imitated him long before they worshiped him." This itinerant Galilean carpenter's first disciples didn't drastically change their lifestyles and follow him town to town, synagogue to synagogue, because they believed he was God, but because they saw the value in imitating the way he thought and lived. He showed them how to change their world. And he did this not by creating a new religion, but by showing them how to integrate his unique insights into the faith they already professed. Eventually they made his faith their faith.