For some non-work paperwork that I’ve been working on today, I am having to write out the answer to this question: What is your past Christian Experience? That’s gotten my thinking. A lot.
Why? There’s a couple of things involved in my mind.
Number 1: It’s a hard-simple question in general. I can tell you about being raised in a believing family, about becoming a believer in Christ myself, and that I’ve grown (hopefully) in faith since then. But at the same time, there’s much more to “Christian Experience” than just the date on a baptism certificate. There are the ways that I’ve grown, stumbled, and gotten back up. The influences that have been there along the way.
And what are the current influences? How has this shaped me or that event affected me? It’s a remarkable mass of situations to put together. And then to reduce to a page or two---that’s the rub!
Number 2: I’ve had to do this before. Many times for different reasons---and I’m sitting here wondering what the comparison would be between prior answers and the one I’ll get written today. How have I changed over the years in my own perception of what “Christian experience” means? What is different about that? When I went to seminary, all I wrote out was my testimony of salvation and baptism. Yet those brief moments do not an instant Christian make: there is more to life than that.
The idea of your own Christian experience should have grown as you’ve grown in faith. It’s not static: both your own testimony should record growth, but also how you see it should mature as well. If it all reads like cut and paste from a testimony book, it’s probably not what it should be. It would be well worth your time to stop and consider the question. You may not be as articulate as others, but it’s your own story---be able to put it together and share it.