One of my high school small group students is giving his testimony in our weekend high school services here at Saddleback Church. Testimonies can have a powerful effect on students. First off, it shows other students that they are not alone, someone else is going through similar problems or the same exact issues they have in their life. Often times teens think they are the only ones dealing with an issue. When testimonies show the path out of an addiction or substance abuse it gives hope to a teen that they have a way out also.
Second, it’s part of the healing process for a teen to talk about their problem. Saddleback Church has a huge high school ministry with about 2,000 students each weekend. That means my student has to get up in front of all those students and talk openly about his issue and how he overcame the situation, or I should say, how God got him through his problem. Students sometimes don’t realize that God is all they need until God is all they have! In the case of my student, he is hoping that other students who are going through his same situation will come to realize that once he started trusting in Jesus his problem got smaller and smaller. Having God in his life has made his issues manageable. They are not gone yet, but he has hope again.
Now here is the cool part about this…at Saddleback Church we have four services in our high school ministry, two on Saturday night and two on Sunday morning. The other students in my group are planning on at least part of the group being at all four services so that the kid in my group who is giving his testimony will know they are there for him, they want to show support and love and help him get through the four services. As a leader this is awesome to me. These guys truly get what a small group is all about. I wish I could take credit for this, but it’s not me, its God working in this group.
Testimonies can be a powerful tool in student ministry. Here are some things to consider for students giving a testimony:
- Unless it’s a testimony that is just going to be given in your small group, make sure parents are aware of what’s going on. Encourage them to be there in the service to show support.
- Help your student with his testimony, keep it simple and to the point
- Pray for your student and have your group pray for him. It’s not easy to get in front of your peers and admit your faults.
- At Saddleback Church we have a program called The Landing that is there for students who have hurts, habits, hang-ups or addictions they are dealing with. If you have a program like that, have material available for students right after the service so they know where they can go for help.
- Be there for your student giving his testimony, let him or her know you are supporting them in every way.