Presenting testimonies to this generation

Vintage Mic

“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” – Psalm 77:11

Testimonies are powerful things. Check out the outcome of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4: her testimony is part of a great move of God in a Samaritan village. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all this. Other than the Bible, the books that have most transformed my Christian view and walk have been the stories of God working in people’s lives. These have included gangsters becoming evangelists (“Run Baby Run” – Nicky Cruz), the beginning of modern missions to inland China (Hudson Taylor – “A man in Christ”) and stories of what God is doing in modern day China (Brother Yun – “The Heavenly Man”). Not only these famous ones, but also testimonies from friends of things big and small. Stories catch people off-guard who are otherwise closed to talking about God. It is easy to argue with a theology. It is a lot harder to argue with that theology when it comes through in someone’s story.

I am aware that many people do find reading difficult, or are just too busy to sit down and read an entire book of someone’s testimony.  This is particularly true for non-Christians who are interested in exploring the Christian faith. Also, just the nature of distributing books means that people are unlikely to come into copies of testimonies unless someone gives one to them directly (side note: give out testimonies! It can be a powerful ministry in itself!). Finally, many encouraging testimonies of our friends may never be written up and published.

So how can we address these difficulties of presenting one of our most powerful tools? This might be where you come in. An encouraging trend recently has been the production of testimonies in non-book forms. The story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and the other men martyred in Ecuador during the 1950’s was recently made into a film. Brother Yun’s testimony has been produced as a manga comic. David Wilkerson’s “The Cross and the Switchblade” was even made into a theatrical play. I see openings for more innovative presentations like this.

Consider over the coming weeks translating your own story, that of a friend or of a Christian who has greatly inspired you into whatever you do best. If you’re a painter, paint a testimony. If a musician, sing or rap it. If you’re into poetry, video making, drawing, sculpture or whatever else, there is so much room to tell of the “deeds of the Lord”. Like the Samaritan woman or the many others who had their lives changed through meeting Jesus, we don’t have to say anything too complex. We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good – let us share our discoveries with those around us!

-Stephen