Word-of-mouth is the number one means of growing the Orthodox Church and adding new members to the Faith. For many people, the bridge to the Orthodox Church is going to be through relationships that already exist. Many people are skeptical about religion today, but still put value in the testimonies of people they know and trust. Who we are, rather than what we say, is the most important element.
In addition to living a sincere Christian life, we can each work to succinctly, authentically, and powerfully share our journey. This is not a form of preaching or trying to convince someone to believe. Telling your story is a way of witnessing for Jesus Christ. People can argue and debate if you are trying to convince them logically about the gospel; but nobody can deny your story. Your story has great power. All you have to say is, “This is what God has done in my life.”
Two Types of Testimonies – depending on the situation, you may be asked to explain why you believe in God, why you’re Orthodox, or both:
- Why Christ? Share how you came to Faith in Christ and/or a deeper conversion. Remember, this is your story. It is not necessary to have a dramatic story or a specific turning point in mind. Just tell how God became real and personal in your life. State how your life is different since this conversion took place.
- Why Orthodoxy? Describe why Orthodoxy is a meaningful expression of your faith; whether it is the beauty of liturgical traditions, the community life of the parish, the example of a specific person, an understanding of Church History, the spiritual tools offered by the Church or the depth of Orthodox Theology, or all of the above. Why are you thankful to be an Orthodox Christian?