Often, as churches, we do a better job of teaching people how to tell their story than we do at preparing people for what it will be like to have their story known. We help people share their experience of God’s grace in a way that highlights the goodness of God and the power of the gospel. This is good and needed.
But we also need to help people (a) assess whether this is a wise time in their journey with God to share a particular aspect of their story, and (b) prepare for the kind of unique temptations that arise after sharing your story in a public setting. These two points become more important the larger the church or venue in which an individual is sharing their story becomes, because the dynamics in play become more pronounced as the audience gets larger.If your church or ministry uses life change stories in services or other public venues, please consider this resource. Click To Tweet
This resource was developed to help Summit care well for those who share their story at our church. While some of the language is Summit-specific, I hope that this resource can serve many other churches and ministries well as you also seek to shepherd those who seek to use the story of God’s grace to encourage large groups of people (i.e., an entire congregation, a ministry niche, a support banquet for a para-church ministry, etc…).
The method for using this article is intended to be simple – the pastor or small group leader asks the individual considering sharing their testimony to read this 5 page article (the 2 page appendices is an optional follow up Bible study) and they discus it together. Together they whether this is wise time to share their story and, if so, what challenges that individual most needs to prepare for afterwards.
I would encourage you to pass this link on to any church or ministry you know that utilizes testimonies (which I hope are most of the churches and ministries you know).
Full resource here: From Telling Your Story to Being Known
If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on the Church and Counseling” post which address other facets of this subject.