We need to speak about God and his commandments in a way that won't immediately be dismissed as weird or irrelevant. This is where the power of personal testimony comes in.
What stories do we need to tell in order to unleash the gospel?
What we most urgently need to testify to is the relevance of God for living my life today. We need to show that to be concerned for God in my life is not a relic of the past. It does not stunt us or diminish us. It leads to great happiness and flourishing. Parishes need to give more opportunities for personal testimonies.
We don't need to receive all kinds of faith formation to give a testimony. We just need the courage to do it.
“A testimony doesn't have to be super dramatic. It doesn't have to be about my life being turned upside down. It doesn't have to be emotionally heavy. Anything that God has done in your life, big or small, is worthy of being shared in a testimony. It can be as ordinary as telling how God answered your prayer. It can even be about the fact that you pray and that you believe someone is listening.”
Simple is good. Ordinary is good. It communicates that God is not just in extraordinary situations and far off places. He is in the every day and he wants to be intimately involved in peoples lives.
Practice giving your testimony if it seems daunting.
The purpose of a testimony is to strengthen faith where it is already present, to awaken faith were it isn't present, to inspire curiosity. Ideally you will inspire enough curiosity that someone will come to the point of asking you, “Why are you a believer anyway? What is this Christianity all about?” That is when we share the kerygma with them.
Kerygma is the technical Greek term for the basic Gospel message. It is the kernel of our faith. It is what the apostles proclaimed everywhere they went.
The kerygma is a story. It is the story. It encompasses and explains all other stories. It is the story told by the divine story teller. This story needs to be told. We are the only ones qualified to tell it. We are first hand witnesses that it is actually true.
Because it is God's story, it has power when it is proclaimed with sincerity. We can trust it to do what we can't, soften hearts and draw them to faith.
My challenge for you is to take the 4 point kerygma and make it your own. Pray through it. Study it. Re-write it yourself. Find scripture verses to illustrate it. Think of why and how you know it to be true. Discuss it with someone close to you. Pray for the opportunity to share it with someone who needs to hear the Good News.
“To share the Good News with a culture that has lost God is a sure way to love him and to love our neighbour. It's God's world and he wants it back.”