Volume 6 Number 4 - Part II

Another idea someone emailed to me. This time about planning for giving one's spiritual bio at church:

"Could this be done in such a way that it indirectly affirms the importance of genuine, life-sharing relationships with friends and family and Christian family that we were talking about?

Could we find our four testimony writers by asking for people who want to commit to spending some real time preparing and praying about it, and who would like to use it as an opportunity to invite friends and family, both Christian and non-Christian, along - just as they might for a baptism? I'm not talking about a pressure thing, just thinking it is a cool opportunity that might really appeal to some people.... It could be an event. If you were giving your testimony, you could invite people who are special to you, who care about you enough to come because even if Christianity means nothing to them, it means everything to you, who would be interested in meeting your Christian friends....

Could we offer the testimony-givers a Preachers Workshop style opportunity to meet together in July to compare drafts and pray about those they are inviting/have invited? ...or meet one on one with an Elder to workshop it and pray?

There are so many ways to approach a testimony, and it would also be good to think about it from a story-telling point of view. It doesn't have to be chronological, but people always seem to automatically take a straight approach... but there are so many exciting possibilities!

We could run a SPECIAL month long group, open to anyone and everyone, which meets weekly in August to work on writing testimonies. One week could be a Benny or JML or Des (or all three, or someone else) talking about different approaches to get them excited; one week could be reading each other's work and giving feedback; one week could be everyone presenting their finished work to the group; one could be talking about how the testimonies might be used. For some, that might be sending it to am non-Christian friend or relative, or an influential Christian friend or relative who would be encouraged to hear the part they played. Others might want to do the whole testimony-event-main-meeting-invite-your-world-type thing, others might be content to just call it practise for when next someone asks how they became a Christian. (Or they could ALL be a pretty exhibition on the walls of the cinema... endless possibilities!) Every week could also involve a hearty slab of prayer. If, out of this, comes a number of testimonies spread out over a number of public meetings, that would be awesome, if not, other good stuff will have come out of it so who cares.

Hmmm. What do you think? Does this surpass the original plan? It may be a more "organic" and inclusive approach... With the initial idea it might be hard to find people who are simultaneously (a) willing and able to write it (b) keen to invite friends and family (c) willing to do the public speaking thing "