It is my firm belief that EVERY person of faith has a story to tell. Faith comes to us in many different ways, either through the people in our lives or the experiences of our lives. I, for example, came to faith when I was a child spending summers with my grandmother on the farm near Ogema, Saskatchewan. She planted the first seeds of faith within me, even as I was helping her plant seeds in her humungous garden. And she is ever present in my life.
I know that every person has a faith story to tell because so many of you have shared yours with me. And so, one day, I got to thinking that these are stories that should be shared with all of us. Just as you uplift my faith when you share your story with me, I knew that the same would be true if you shared your faith story with all of us. And that was when our “Bear Witness” program was born.
With the permission of our Worship Team, I have taken the opportunity to invite anyone in the congregation who might wish to tell their story and share their faith with us to do just that. On the last Sunday of each month, for the rest of this year, individuals from our congregation will be invited to bear witness to their faith and to bring messages of hope to us.
To stand before a group of people and to share one’s faith is to stand on holy ground. I hope that this will be a sacred and holy experience for all of us. And I want to thank those folks who have already stepped forward and eagerly embraced the opportunity to do this.
Today marks the beginning of this initiative. Today we are blessed to hear from Darren Berg who has been eagerly waiting, for a long time, to share his personal perspective on faith.
Why is this initiative so important? Well, it seems to me that in our Protestant Reformed tradition, we have placed the task of speaking (or preaching) in the hands of one person – the Minister. Granted, the Minister has spent long years in studying the Bible and has a certain depth of knowledge to bring to the task of preaching. However, faith is not just about studying the text, faith is much deeper and more profound than that. Faith is a matter of the heart and soul, not just the mind.
I contend that it is the voices in the community that must be heard, not just the voice of the Minister. Having the Minister preach every Sunday can make faith too narrow because, as we all know, every Minister brings a certain bias to the art of preaching. We can’t help it. We are human after all! But by hearing more voices from the community, it is my prayer that you will be opened up to new ways of hearing the “good news” that God wants to bring to us.
Let the storytelling begin! Oh, and if you are interested in sharing YOUR story, I have a limited number of dates open for you. Just be in touch.