I’ve been preaching on tithing for quite some time now so I occasionally run into someone I’ve converted to tithing. Some years ago, a woman from Groton UMC blessed me by sharing that she had decided to tithe her Social Security check after I had preached at the church some months prior. She was so excited to tell me. And then she said this: “When I saw how well behaved your three kids were in church, and heard that you tithed, I thought, ‘if this guy can do it, surely I can too.'” It wasn’t my theological points that convicted her. It wasn’t my cleverly crafted one point. It was my testimony…in a way.
People love a good story. They tend to perk up and pay closer attention. It’s easier for them to remember. There is power to a story. A person’s giving testimony is a powerful story…as long as you keep these points in mind.
- Authentic: It’s easy stretch the truth or maybe ignore struggle. The temptation is to maker ourselves the hero instead of Jesus Christ.
- Relatable: The listener should be able to imagine themselves in the shoes of the person’s testimony. An exceptional life of an exception person can be demotivating for us regular people.
- Format: Not everyone is comfortable or capable of sharing their testimony up on the stage. You don’t want the presentation to detract from the story.
- Spearfish UMC: https://www.spearfishumc.org/
- Groton UMC: http://www.grotonumc.org/
- New Consecration Sunday: https://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9780687644377/
- Advice on Testimonies from Relevant Magazine: https://relevantmagazine.com/faith/what-we-get-wrong-about-giving-our-testimony/