Saturday, 30 August 2014

My testimony as a story

One of the extra curricular activities I have volunteered for is to help with the IT stuff at my church. To do this I had to apply for the position and on the form it asked for testimony. This task reminded me of a talk I listened to from KEC this year. In that talk, Sam Chan taught us how to give a testimony framed as a story. 

While I do agree that there are no boring testimonies, as it is only a miracle that anyone would believe Jesus is God (but of cause believing in God is not without evidence), sometimes we present them in a boring way. Sam puts forward a few movements or stages that we should include in our testimony.

The first is to think about what makes you tick. What makes you you. This is one of the main frameworks or meta narrative to your life. For Sam it was that he was Asian and a high achiever. For an adopted person it may well be a search for identity.

The second movement is to explain how you went looking to fulfill this extensional crisis. How do you go about seeking to please people, how do you achieve your goals? Where do you turn to in order to meet your needs. This is where some of your strengths actually becomes weakness, because they are only really fulfilled in Jesus.

The third stage is how Jesus has helped with this crisis and then it is important to have a denouement, or a new norm for your life.

Another feature is to add little stories or snippets of your life in it. This gives tangible examples that the listener could picture you in these moments. Depending on the length of time you have with your audience these can be short or long, and besides people always like stories - that is how we are wired.

Sam said we should also follow up (of cause depending on time and permission from the person/audience you are talking to) with a Bible story that also touches on the same theme in your testimony. I don't have one yet, perhaps you can suggest one.

Anyway, below is the testimony I wrote in my application. It is still a work in progress, but perhaps it will encourage you to also do the same.

I have always like to know how things worked. When I was in primary school I would pull apart old VCR’s just to see what was inside, and when we got our first PC when I was in year 6, it was hard for my parents to pull me away from it. In high school I did well in maths and computers and remember sitting near the oval with another mate trying to work out how to plot things in 3D space using an X,Y and Z axis, in order to make maps for a computer game. 
Although I had this curiosity about how things (mainly technical) worked, it wasn't until uni that I started to consider how life worked and what that was all about. Unlike technology, working out what life was meant to be about was harder to figure out.
I had always known about Jesus since I was little. My family always went to Camden Baptist Church and were active members in the Lake Tabourie Beach Mission team since I was in year five.
When I got to uni I started to really think about what I was brought up believing. I looked into Christianity more, to see how it worked, and started to really hold on to my faith. I came to see that the Bible was reliable, that Jesus rose from the death and that Christian thought presented a consistent world view that aligned with reality. 
I still don’t claim to know everything there is to know about life, God and other mysteries, but believing in God, Jesus’ resurrection and the trustworthiness of the Bible has given me confidence in this life and the one to come.
Now I still work with computers and enjoy solving problems, but I don’t feel that my career is my life, or my identity. Instead, knowing Jesus has helped me find fulfillment in seeking after God and learning more about Him. In 2009 I started doing a Bachelor of Theology part time, and am set to finish at the end of this year. I don't know exactly what will come of that, but I do hope to use what I have learned to help others come to know Jesus.

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