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Church Site Dissertation

Church Site Dissertation

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Published by: sultancip on May 07, 2011
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“Research suggests people begin to take an interest in the message of Jesus Christ

when they are attracted by the life of a Christian.” (Kirk 199, 73).

As explained in chapter two, people rarely accept anything claiming to be absolute truth

and this is a huge challenge for the church in communicating that Jesus is the only way

to God. “An indirect, but effective, approach in tackling metanarrative criticism is to use

the ‘petite narrative’ meaning each person’s own story. This is largely because of the

postmodern mentality of legitimising each person’s view of reality...” (Johnston 2002,

110). People then are very open to hearing about others’ experience, and when

Page 47 of 95

personal stories are told that focus on God’s faithfulness and love in a life this is very

powerful. “Being fulfilled, rooted in acceptance and love is the need of all people, but

nobody understands the power of grace until they have experienced it.” (Simpson 2003,

41). Grace cannot be understood through intellectual reasoning or even theologically,

“The telling of your story is the first step to learning theirs [the non-Christian’s]”

(Simpson 2003, 42):

Make a link to ‘meet the webmaster’ or ‘my story’. Here is a chance to share
your testimony. (But don’t call it ‘testimony’ – that’s a Christian jargon word.)
Introduce yourself first, where you live, what you like, etc. Then go on to explain
how something happened to you which changed your whole view of life. “People
are interested in people.” They always turn to the human-interest stories in
newspapers first. Short audio or video clips of the person can also add interest
to a testimony page. (Whittaker, 2009).

Southside Church19

claim the life stories (testimonies) of people in their congregation

featured on their website have prompted much feedback and questions from non-

Christian visitors to their site. (Purves & Hall, 2009a). Each story is short which is good

as people often do not read long articles as they surf20

, and with a testimony it is

important that folk read to the end. They have catchy titles rather like secular

magazines that make people want to read more, one such example is: “I just couldn’t

deal with the troubles in my life anymore.” (Terri, 2009) These life stories alternate with

one another, featuring on every page. At the end of each story an opportunity is given

to find out more about Christ.

A personal story is unique to the person telling it and has the capacity to establish

empathy and identity with the reader. The reader will find a personal testimony of how

Jesus has touched someone’s life difficult to refute because that person is simply

expressing their experience.


See section 4.1


See section 3.4.1

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Although on the surface testimonies may seem subjective, they should ultimately reflect

the Glory and Power of God to change lives and give room for the Holy Spirit to convict

the reader that they too need Jesus:

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as
your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of
darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in
jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
(2 Corinthians 4:5-7).

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