Somebody said to me after a recent dinner “the short testimonies were too long, and the main speaker was not given enough time”
This led me to thinking about testimonies. Our fellowship of course is entirely based upon personal testimony of the working of God in our lives, but increasingly in these modern times it is testimony which is important - so how should we give and prepare for giving ‘our’ story?
First it is OUR testimony, personal to me (you). At the moment of salvation that is it, you can say what you were, but your testimony of Jesus is just that, salvation. As we go on and live few years as a Christian, in my case that is 47 years, you acquire literally 100’s of stories of God moving in you, through you or around you. Filter these a little bit in your mind and let God direct you to the bit that you share. If asked for a short testimony, thats it - just a bit…..
If you are asked to give a full testimony you will be given up to an hour, you say what you were before, how you met Jesus and what followed. Uplifting and including stories and anecdotes from the life you now lead - ending with an appeal.
More often you will be asked to share a short portion of your story, and maybe this is to be added to something else, speaking for the offering, about the fellowship, or notices for next meeting etc. Unless otherwise directed by the chairman of the meeting these should in total be not be more than 5 minutes, which means your actual testimony should be just one or two minutes long.
40 years or so ago when I first joined the fellowship we used to actually all share our short testimony in business meetings or others, and it was critically commented on. Not negatively, but it did teach us all to pare things down a bit to make for a more streamlined meeting without detracting from the freshness of the actual persons story.
Can I remind you,
Two years ago Bob Harrington the so called Bourbon Street Preacher died at age 89. Bob was a baptist pastor who was appointed chaplain of the notorious red light district of New Orleans in USA. His claim to fame was the boast that he could preach an effective salvation gospel message “between the door of the limo and the door of the strip club” He said often that you actually only have less than one minute to get someones attention. We need to cultivate this attitude in our testimonies
Some folks can think in an instant and come up with the right words, for most of us it is good to consider a few things before the dinner.
1/ what happened today or last Sunday…….”healing, deliverance”…. The immediate testimony is always relevant, but keep it just that no beginning and no end just the facts - people will ask you to fill in
2/ a more remote situation which seems to fit with today…..”it was in just such a meeting that I…”
3/ something that relates to the group…..you were “in ?? situation and Jesus lifted you out of it…”
John Wright always speaks of having a voice in his pocket, and he has a fresh testimony every time we meet because he gives out a few each day.
Our challenge is what do we do each day, each week, and, for each one of us to walk into the room on dinner night with a two minute story we can share, maybe from the mic, but maybe around the table………
Posted 11:26 AM | Permalink