I remember the first church staff meeting where we shared testimonies about what God had been doing in our midst. It wasn’t like we never shared the stories of God—the salvation, baptisms, and miracles He was accomplishing around us—however, that specific day it became a practice, a rhythm, a tradition. Five years later I have moved to a different church where we have the same tradition. I realize now there is something special about sharing stories. It is not limited to a specific group size—it can be done in any context and realistically within any family.
Preachers share life-changing testimonies on Sunday from the front of the room, but they are not the only ones with a story. God is creating a story in each of our families, no matter where we are in our walk with God, and no matter where we are in the world. Pediatricians and teachers have always reinforced the concept of reading books, but in the last 25 years a canon of research has come about proving the benefit of everyday reminiscing as a family about the past and the present. Children with this experience are said to have a better understanding of others’ thoughts and emotions, higher self-esteem, and a stronger identity.
Scripture also confirms the benefits of sharing testimonies and truth. Revelation 12:11 tells us, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony …” Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” When we consistently share stories as a family, we impart truth, life, and identity into our children. When this becomes a tradition and a practice in our homes, our children will practice this with others, in turn becoming powerful agents for the kingdom.
So where do we start?
We began with our little girls by asking the simple questions, “What are you thankful for?” and “What’s something you love about Grandma (repeat with names of other special friends)?” Through these questions, we’ve been able to share our testimonies of how God has provided, and acknowledge the opportunities He gives us to enjoy and care for the people around us.
There are many ways you too can create the tradition of storytelling from sharing highs and lows from the day, asking specific questions about church or your small group, and talking about God-sightings at school. Take time out to wait on God together as a family, and share testimonies and encouragements with one another. All of these stories put priority on truth and allow us as parents to shepherd our children into a wonderful storytelling tradition. You can do it! The stories of God have power and God invites us into His big story to share it with others!