When I grew up in a small South Texas Assemblies of God church, the testimony service was an important part of each gathering. Sister Evans might stand up and tell of the miracle that God had performed during the past week. Sydney Smith might stand up and dance a Holy Ghost dance as he told about how God had saved a family member. Almost weekly, there would be someone who would testify of a healing that had taken place.
I miss that portion of the church service. Sadly, our time together each week has become so regulated and/or the crowds have become so large that our people are sporadically hearing testimonies given only as a faith-builder before the offering is to be received or as an occasional illustration in the preacher’s message.
In our children’s classes, testimony services are almost nonexistent. Like the adult services, its absence could be due to having too much to do in such a limited, regulated time structure. Or, even worse, it could be due to the fact that there’s nothing to tell about. The few testimonies given are often about what God did years ago in other moves of God or about what God is doing elsewhere in other revivals.
Where are our testimonies? Are we giving our boys and girls an opportunity to answer God’s challenge of “prove me now”? Are we daring to actually pray for the sick in our services and expecting a miracle as we pray? Are giving our children the opportunity to call out to God the names of their unsaved family members or the ungodly kid down the street and expecting salvation testimonies in the days to come?
I’m thankful for what God did in kids in the Welch Revival and the Azusa Street Revival. I’m thrilled at what I see happening with boys and girls in the Lakeland Healing Outpouring. But each of these moves are either from a different date in history or a different zip code.
Let’s bring back the testimony service. Let’s make room for God to move supernaturally at 76180 or whatever your zip code might be. If you make room for Him, He will always show up!