Faith Stories

Members and close friends of Hickory Flat Church, has the Holy Spirit touched your life in a powerful way? If so, we would love for you to share your experience with those in our community of faith who may need a word of encouragement.

 

Your worship team at Hickory Flat yearns to provide very thought-provoking and meaningful worship experiences for everyone, both the Christian and the non-Christian who walks through our doors on Sunday. We have one hour to make a difference in their lives and we need your help.

 

There are several ways this can be planned for and accomplished.

The most preferable way is for you to present your story to the congregation. Only a minute or two of your time could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.

If this makes you uncomfortable, we can videotape or audiotape you and with your permission, show it to the congregation.

Or, you could write out your story and have the pastor, the worship leader, or a drama team member read your story.

 

Stories of Faith Explained

 

Unfortunately, in our community of faith, the word testimony calls up a lot of fear and anxiety. A great leader of our country once said that “the combined testimonies of countless people with similar experiences have helped to perpetuate religious faith as an integral part of the lives of billions of people.” Nothing can take the place of people telling people what Jesus has done for them. A testimony is an exciting way to proclaim how God has been at work in a person’s life. But the word “testimony” can often be confusing. When people are encouraged to share their testimony, they usually wonder What’s a testimony? and Why should I share my story? Let’s explore these two questions.

 

What’s a Testimony?

 

A testimony is

Your spiritual life-story

Your statement of faith

A map of your spiritual journey

A photo album that reveals your thoughts about Jesus Christ

Basically, a testimony is a story. It’s your story! It’s a story about you and your relationship with Jesus. Everyone has a story, even non-Christians! That’s right, non-Christians can tell their story about what they think of Jesus Christ (although without a relationship with Him, their story isn’t complete).

 

Why should I share my story?

 

Because it will probably be a great experience for you, and others need to hear different examples of how God works. Non-Christians get a real, live example of how God makes a difference in one’s life. Many non-Christians dismiss their need for God because they don’t see how God is relevant to their daily life. But they can’t disagree with your story. No one can…it’s your story!

 

The most important thing is a “what” question: What is God doing in your life today? The Christian faith isn’t a one-time event. It’s an ongoing relationship with the God of the universe. So, what are you learning? What are you going through? Keep in mind that great stories aren’t always success stories.

 

How can I share my story?

 

So you’re willing to tell your story? Great! Which one? You only have one salvation story (a time when you said “yes” to God), but you’ve got several (at least a few) stories that expose times of growth and mission in your Christian life, or even times of pain that have raised questions and fears. Because it’s your story, it can be about a search you’re on or a question you’re asking God to answer.

 

Types of stories

 

Take a look at the list of possible benefits for each type of story:

 

1. Salvation story (how you became a Christian)

Gives hope to non-Christians (shows them God cares for everyone)

Encourages Christians (reminds them of their own salvation)

Reminds you of God’s goodness (everyone needs a reminder of this)

Gives the “big picture” of your life (includes your life before meeting Christ and after)

2. Growth story (what God has been teaching you lately)

Shows non-Christians that God is real and personal to you (He’s still alive and at work today)

Motivates Christians (reminds them that God cares about all the details of life)

Holds you accountable (encourages you to “walk the talk”)

Gives a “snapshot” of your life (this is what’s happening now)

Shows a realistic side to the Christian faith (reveals the bumps and bruises all Christians experience)

3. Mission/ministry story (what small glimpse of God’s Kingdom has He allowed you to see)

Enlightens people on what happens when people are in mission and ministry

Encourages others to get involved and participate.

Provides a way to praise and thank God for the opportunity

 

How do I do it?

 

Write it out: Not only will writing it out help you get your thoughts together, but it will enable you to begin remembering it.

Keep it short: Two to three minutes. Always leave people wanting more; also, your testimony may be one piece of a bigger work that God is doing. It often takes people in the U.S. 12-15 exposures to the Good News before they respond to Christ. Be clear and concise.

Ignore doubts: Expect your mind to be filled with lots of doubts and messages like, “Who do you think you are to share your story? You’re such a hypocrite. God can’t use you.” This is a strategy of Satan. Fortunately for a Christian, you don’t have to be perfect to share your story–no one is.

Keep your focus on God: Remember, it’s God who has given you a story to tell. Be excited about your story, but be sure to give God the credit He deserves.

Have fun! You are loved by God and your friends no matter how you do, so relax and enjoy the privilege of telling others about the incredible relationship you have (and they can have) with Jesus.

 

What do I do next?

 

Contact one of the pastors or worship leaders to share your story of faith. Thanks for sharing!