Why are testimonies an integral part of communal worship? Youth ministry expert Amanda Hontz Drury talks about her book Saying Is Believing, and shares how to articulate your beliefs while encouraging adolescent spiritual development.
Are you comfortable sharing your personal testimony with others, or do you cringe at the thought of it?
Your personal testimony not only impacts listening ears, but is an essential practice for Christian spiritual formation. Public speaking in general is a great fear for many, but sharing how God is working in your life is a completely different conversation. Dr. Drury noticed that many people think there are high stakes involved, but reminded us that it’s not as challenging as it may appear to be.
“There is not one magical story that you need to recite”
Dr. Drury encouraged us to remember that our testimony is simply a story where God is one of the characters. Sharing how we have seen God work in our lives can not only build confidence in our identity, but completely change our perspective on God. Just as the title of Dr. Drury’s book suggests, we need to say it – in order to believe it.
Do you have a hard time articulating your beliefs? Rest assured, you are not alone. Many people find it challenging to identify what they believe or speak about their faith in front of others. Dr. Drury shared helpful ways to build up the confidence and value in sharing our story;
“The more we speak about God in our lives, the more we believe it”
When we speak something out loud, it changes things, Dr. Drury adds. We need to find a way to tell our story and create environments that encourage others to tell theirs, especially adolescents, who generally have a harder time speaking about their faith.
Here are a few helpful questions to ask to open the door for powerful stories:
• Have you ever seen a miracle?
• Have you ever had an answered prayer?
• How have you seen God work in your life lately?
Adolescent spiritual development can greatly be impacted by the influences around them, for better or worse. We have an opportunity to be a part of the great commission and encourage the next generation of believers to carry on the privilege of sharing, too.