Let’s speak about the power of personal testimony and how this helps change lives.
I. Personal Testimony Means Transparency
II. There is a Time and Season for Everything
III. Your Personal Story Will Cost You Something
IV. Personal Testimony on Assigning Responsibility
V. Testimonies Acknowledge God is in Control
Personal Testimony Means Transparency
When I say — ‘tell everything’, of course I am not speaking about the thousands of wicked things from your entire life!
I am suggesting telling everything which can help someone else get closer to God. As a Preacher/Pastor, I can quote the Bible to people, but it is YOUR personal testimony which will win them to Christ!
Sharing my personal testimony has become second nature. Personal testimonies can be fickle, and very personal things. However, they also hold the ability to change someone’s life.
Listen to this example of personal testimony:
This testimony has so far been heard by more than 37,000 people! With that number, I guarantee this man’s personal testimony of faith has changed the life of at least ten (10) who have seen this.
Further, there is a group of people which only he can be effective witnessing to!
The tattoos, gang life, prison, drugs, and drinking make him personally qualified to reach people you and I never could.
There is a Time and Season for Everything
Why this platform and why now?
Over the years, I admit to being one who lobbed spiritual grenades into local churches absent real experience within them. Up until nine years ago, I was one of those guys, on YouTube, crying out against false prophets, false apostles, and wayward shepherds.
I, along with certain other brethren, thought we truly understood who and what should be targeted. Being now on the inside of church leadership, my focus has shifted somewhat.
I am not so much focused on “what happened” rather “how to prevent” bad things from happening in the House of God.
This require being in constant conversation with the Lord and others. I, and you, must be willing to expose our wrongs to others, in those conversations, so they can see the power of God to heal and forgive.
Your Personal Story Will Cost Something
This zeal cost me a job and financial wherewithal at the Denver Rescue Mission I have yet to recover from. However, and as the apostle Paul stated: “I counted all his dung so that I may gain Christ”.
It would be presumptuous to say this devastating employment loss was the will of God. Often, we do things in the name of God, but not under the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
I still have not determined, nor as God revealed, whether this loss was His will, or because of my presumptuous actions. I do know that shortly after this situation, I found myself leading a congregation as a Pastor.
Unlike my previous loss, I am 100% sure that should I sustain any form of loss in this, it will have resulted from obedience to the Lord. I now say something which will shock those who lust after a Pastorate and the prestige it holds.
I care more about righteousness than I do pastoring a congregation! This isn’t something I have not said publicly either.
Speaking on behalf of Jesus, through your personal witness, will cost you something at some point in time. For me, it was a job I loved and more money than I had made prior or since.
Also keep in mind that it will cost you the thing you care about most. For you, this could be friendships. This is something which can be taken from me and I would lose no sleep.
However, I associate a job with being productive and being ‘useful.’ Some people bounce from job to job without losing sleep. I am not one of them!
Personal Testimony About Assigning Responsibility
In a previous article, I revealed my surprise at the Lord assigning me to lead a congregation.
It is because of this surprise however, that I have a peace that passes all understanding. Regardless of how this ends, I know Jesus assigned me to this role because it couldn’t have happened any other way.
I know many are leading congregations outside the will of God having not been assigned by Him. Again, I mentioned it couldn’t have happened ‘for me.’ There was no way I was searching for something like this on my own!
Unlike most, I do not believe that a pastor is the most important gift, nor assignment, in the kingdom of God. The church is in the condition it is because too many believe that leaders are more important than others.
I will forgo putting together the written apologetics case that all gifts are viewed by God equally. The only difference between a church leader and you is we are more accountable to God.
Does being more accountable make one more important? The answer is an emphatic no! When I was growing up, my older sister was often charged with watching me, and my two younger brothers.
She was the eldest, and because of this, mother would leave her in charge when she was not present.
Due to being given such a grand responsibility, if anything went wrong while mother was out, my sister would be held accountable. I never got the impression however, that mother cared for her more than us.
When mother was home, we were all equal, none being more special than the other. The same holds true with God’s view of your leader and you.
Where is all this leading?
Testimonies Acknowledge God is in Control
Personal testimonies acknowledge that God is in control. We live in a world where control is viewed as the ultimate aphrodisiac.
When we don’t testify in this way, we are actually accepting credit and responsibility for what is God’s. Next to lack of faith, many are guilty of perhaps something just as grievous — believing what rightfully belongs to God, is somehow theirs.
With respect to Pastors, for example, this includes the church!
Their iron grip on congregations, dictatorial style, and scurrilous manipulation has replaced prayer. For many years, I struggled to discern why those who preach against fear are themselves consumed by it.
Any shepherds who believes that micro-managing and violating free-will knows not God.
Pastoring brings with it certain privileges like prestige, power, notoriety, and being treated as a quasi-form of royalty.
This has brought me much grief in ministry. The knowledge that God’s people have been taught to so despise themselves breaks my heart.
I constantly testify to those in our church that they should worship God and not me. This is another valuable outcome of personal testimony — it keeps us humble and focused.
Some may be quoting the Scripture: “give honor to who honor is due, and tribute to whom tribute is due”.
However, God’s sheep are due just as much honor as their leaders. One item I have often reiterated to the congregation I lead, is that they should never treat me, or any preacher, as if we are better.
Such treatment goes beyond the bounds of the honor God commanded all Believers to provide one another.
Pastoring is an office, gifting, as well as a platform. Nevertheless, this platform is only a ‘space’ (among many others) to practice the true anointing: preaching!
People can remove a church leader from a platform but can never remove the anointing to preach.
I am a free man, walking in the liberty provided by Jesus Christ. I refuse to hold onto a pastorate past its time. If I desire that which God does not desire for me, my behavior will not allow the righteousness of God in.
We view Pastoring, as if a secular career meant to be held on to past our effective dates. Therefore, when I commit to holding on to that which God desires I release, I then become a predator, unrighteous vessel, and a rebel.
Sharing my personal testimony has been one of the greatest privileges in life. The question becomes, will you encourage others through the power of your testimony?
If you want to win them, whoever they are, to Christ, you must show your heart to them.
Header Image Courtesy of Faith Counts (YouTube Channel)