Pastor’s Message

“Words are like an earthquake.” That was the conclusion of Pastor Lillian Daniel in describing her church’s practice of testimony. She saw firsthand how people were changed both by those who shared their faith stories, and those who heard them in worship. It strengthened the whole community.

In this new year we have begun incorporating testimonials into the sermon time as a vehicle for strengthening our life together in community. Typically people have been invited to speak during Lenten midweek services and during our fall stewardship emphasis. But there’s no reason to limit when people may talk about their experience of God in worship. And for those who don’t like public speaking, these 3-5 minute testimonies can be taped ahead of time, in the comfort of your own home.

Of course the “desire for testimony” is nothing new. The entire New Testament is a testimony, a record of experiences that the first followers of Jesus had with the transformative power of God. From Mary Magdalene’s witness of the resurrection, to the disciples in the early church. As the book of Acts recounts (4:31), when they prayed for courage and power to preach the good news, the place in which they were gathered was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking the word of God with boldness.

The Holy Spirit is still at work as we find our voices to speak of what God is doing in our lives, and share it with others. I loved how the desire for testimony has changed one man’s life. He confessed to “having a horror of talking about my faith” after having grown up as a fundamentalist. “But,” he said, “now I can’t help myself. I go to work and colleagues ask, What did you do this weekend? And I start telling them about some fantastic sermon or liturgy at church on Sunday I can’t hold it in. I’ve just got to share.” (from the book Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith)

There is power in stories. As we tell our stories we come to know ourselves, each other and God better.  Will you prayerfully consider letting the Holy Spirit shake us up by sharing your story of faith?