Monday, December 17, 2018 12:29

Use Personal Testimonies at Offering Time–Idea #3

iStock_000007088099X Giving Bible & Wallet

Enthusiasm is contagious!  Passion is infectious!  When we see others excited, we get excited, too.

That’s what Paul meant when he remarked that he had been bragging to others about the Corinthian believers’ extraordinary zeal for giving.  He told them “your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action” (2 Cor. 9:2).  It’s the power of a positive example.

That can happen in your church, too.  There has been too much “hiding your light under a bushel” (Mt. 5:15 & 16).  So, let your light shine!  Find a few people who enjoy giving.  Look for those who have been consistent in their generosity.  Gather a group of people who have proven God’s faithfulness.  And help them develop brief testimonies of how God’s principles of stewardship have worked out practically in their lives.

Understandably, people don’t want to bring attention to themselves.  In fact, Jesus warns about trumpeting good deeds with a motive of self-promotion (Mt. 6:1-4).  However, a testimony well delivered isn’t about “me.” It’s a story about God and His faithfulness as it applies to one’s life.

Recently in a church that EXCEL served, an 80-year-old widow was asked to share her stewardship testimony.  She read 2 Kings 4:1-17, shared her own personal story of how God had provided for her over the last 25 years, and how confident she is that God will continue to meet all her needs.  In both morning worship services her brief message received ovations.  People spontaneously began to praise God for His wonderful provision for this child of His.  That’s the power of a personal testimony! 

In Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, J. Clif Christopher says he would like to see that “at least one testimony is presented to the congregation each week.  The best place for this is worship and the backup would be in the newsletter” (p. 86). Realistically, I think that’s too frequent to be feasible—especially if your church is starting from ground zero. But how about once a month?  An important pointer for success is “Don’t let anyone feel they are alone.”  Be sure this is part of an on-going effort.  It would be embarrassing to your first presenters if they ended up being the only ones who took the risk of sharing and were left out on the limb alone.

My friend, Brian Fort, has a simple one-page tool to assist in planning these brief stewardship talks.  If you would like to have a free copy of this practical tool, just let me know by responding to this email, and we’ll send one out to you.

There’s nothing more effective than sharing Scripture at the offering time illustrated by a life that has been impacted by God’s stewardship truths.  It is a powerful tool to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).

© Linden D. Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

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