Why Christian Testimony?
Christian testimony was, at one time, a common practice. But we don't use Christian testimony now as much as in the past. I believe that testimony can enhance our worship services, witness to unbelievers the power and love of Christ, and strengthen our prayer lives. What is Christian testimony? Christian testimony is a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. It brings glory to God, encourages us, and allows us to share the gospel with unbelievers. I believe testimonies will improve prayer in our churches. People are more likely to consider prayer more seriously when seeing examples of answered prayers.
We see God's glory expounded upon often in the Old Testament. The author of 1 Chronicles writes, "Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling." 16:24-27
Most worship services are set up to share prayer needs and concerns. There is a time in each service set aside for prayer. But we don't pray just for the purpose of asking, or at least we shouldn't. Prayer is meant to draw us to the Father, share our hearts with him, and witness what he has done in our lives. People realize that God will also work in their lives when we share what God has done. Testimonies go one step further by witnessing Christ's death and resurrection.
The purpose of the testimony is to show others what God has done in your life. They don't need to be dramatic. We don't have to have had a drug addiction or lived a crime-filled life with a great highly emotional conversion. People like myself who grew up in a Christian home and knew Jesus all our lives can also give testimonies to what God has done in our lives. Testimonies are not just for worship and evangelistic services.
Peter says, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15 NIV In daily conversations and impromptu encounters with others who may not know Christ, it is a perfect time to share why you can have hope even with wars and natural disasters. In my prayer study group, I ask each week if there are testimonies to be shared. It's a small, safe group to learn how to tell others about Christ's work in their lives. It has been a positive experience as people have begun to open up about their prayer needs and the answers God has provided.
Just think if we instituted this in a worship service on Sunday morning when even more people would hear of God's work. Dustin Crowe writes, "Testimonies encourage the church. It's one part of how we speak truth to one another and point to God's presence in our midst." Charles Spurgeon believes, "If you abundantly talk of God's goodness, you are sure to benefit your neighbors. Many are comforted when they hear of God's goodness to your friends."
The last thing Jesus told his disciples was, "...you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8 Testimonies are how we do that. When we share our hope and salvation with others, more will know that our God is the God of the impossible.