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There is some difference in opinion whether or not the below sentence should have the commas as shown or not. Are there any rules that this would be based on? Do they make the sentence clearer? Any opinion together with clear reasons would be much appreciated.

Our aim is to help people discover, and grow in, faith in Jesus Christ.

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    Frankly, I do not like the way your sentence is worded. Better in my opinion would be: "Our aim is to help people discover faith in Jesus Christ and then grow in that faith." Don Nov 6 '15 at 13:30
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Commas are unnecessary; the real problem is that the single word "discover" and the verb phrase "grow in" don't properly parallel. It's probably best to use single-word verbs for both, such as

Our aim is to help people discover and cultivate faith in Jesus Christ.

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No commas at all. They break up the sentence and it becomes unintelligible.

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  • I do not agree at all. Parenthetical commas of that kind never make something more difficult to understand. The critical thing is whether the sentence still makes grammatical sense if you remove that which is between the commas. And it does. I would put the commas in, were it me.
    – WS2
    Nov 6 '15 at 11:12
  • Interesting, WS2. I felt that they might aid understanding a little since there are two 'in's and the first 'in' belongs to 'grow' but not to 'discover'. In any case, you should post that as an answer rather than a comment. Nov 6 '15 at 11:32
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Your sentense reads:

Our aim is to help people discover, and grow in, faith in Jesus Christ.

The way you have used commas just sets of "and grow in". Consequently, your sentence reads like this without that "and grow in":

Our aim is to help people discover faith in Jesus Christ.

However, I guess you wanted to help people to both "discover" and "grow in" faith in Jesus. If that is your objective, you may say:

Our aim is to help people discover and grow in faith in Jesus Christ.

Then, there is a small problem that the sentence does not sound well. The reason is that you have combined asymmetrical entities, viz. "discover" and "grow in" using "and". In order to get rid of that problem, you may reconstruct the sentence.

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