Giving Testimony: The Call to Be a Witness by Kim Reisman
One of the wonderful things we do at World Methodist Evangelism is training leaders all over the world to show and share the love of Jesus. Pre-pandemic, we have done this through in-person gatherings as well as virtual gatherings. A few years ago, I was in Kenya teaching about Embrace, our faith sharing material that focuses on six essential values – humility, clarity, prayer, integrity, worship, and urgency. Early in my visit, I had an interesting conversation with Bishop William Muriuki of the Methodist Church Kenya. Bishop William is part of our Africa team – a group of dedicated volunteers who guide us in our work. He mentioned that he might have to leave during our teaching session, because he had to be a witness in a court case regarding an accident. Because of his busy schedule, the court official told him that he didn’t have to be present for the entire case; they would just call him when it was his time to give testimony. Sure enough, later that day he received a call and left to testify.
Because I live in the United States, I found this whole scenario surprising. No one called to testify in court in the U.S. would ever be allowed to come and go as they pleased. We would be stuck at the courthouse for the entire day – maybe longer!
Yet, as I thought about it a bit more, it occurred to me that in this kind of system, Bishop William has to be ready to give his testimony at a moment’s notice. There is no special preparation time, no organizing a big event, no assigning the job to someone else. Bishop William has to be ready to give his testimony at whatever moment he’s called upon.
That, my friends, is the situation of every Christian! We are to be ready, even on a moment’s notice, to give our testimony. Whenever we are called, we have to be ready to be a witness, to testify to what we have seen, heard, and experienced.
That’s what a witness is, actually. It isn’t about being an “expert” witness. Jesus never said that we would be his expert witnesses. He just said that we would be witnesses – people who tell the truth about what they have seen, heard, and experienced.
As Christians, each of us is in the same position Bishop William was the day he was called to be a witness.
So: the question is, what will you say if someone asks you to testify about how you have experienced the love of Jesus in your life? How will you respond if they ask where you have seen God at work?
I pray that you will be ready to answer – even on a moment’s notice – with confidence and grace.
This piece is shared in coordination with World Methodist Evangelism.
Featured image credit Jon Tyson on Unsplash.