I’m still amazed at the power of giving a testimony. I guess I forget how you can get a student’s attention when you use real life situations for examples and how moving it can be.
The past two days I’ve spoken to our High School Ministry about the power of community and how important is it to not just be in a small group but to participate in the group and support each other. I spoke about my recent experience and ordeal with going through six months of chemotherapy and how if it wasn’t for my own small group I couldn’t have made it. We have 1,100 high school students in small groups, or Life Groups as we call them here at Saddleback Church and the past two nights I’ve spoken to a packed auditorium of students and leaders, most who had no idea what I was going through these past six months, mainly because I just haven’t talked about it much outside of my own small group.
Both nights, even though the auditorium was packed with hundreds of students, you could have heard a pin drop it got so quiet as my testimony got to the part where I told them I have colon cancer and am now in complete remission. I mixed in enough humor to keep the mood from getting too sad, but frankly at points I wanted it sad to make the point…being in a small group is one of the most important things you can do.
I had a built-in support group through this whole ordeal. Steven, Dennis, Chip, Nathan and Michael have been there to help me to support me, have made sure they texted me on the rough days to let me know they were thinking and praying for me. I used that example for students to show the importance of Christian Community.
Both nights I had a lot of students come up to me and thank me and basically let me know they value their small group but now they really value their group. I have a new student small group I’m leading and because God is awesome and knows our needs, I found out I have a student in my group that has just gone through four years of chemotherapy. Who better to relate to him than me, someone who has just gone through the same struggle?
Share your story and your experiences with your students. Sometimes there is no better way to teach a lesson than with practical real life experiences.