3-Minute Testimonies & Prize Drawings Yield Openness to the Gospel in Mississippi

Most Christians are willing to share their faith when it can be as simple as a three-minute testimony, a Mississippi church has found in using the three-minute story witnessing method.

“When you tell people, ‘What we want you to do is share your testimony in three minutes,’ that means I don’t have to sit down and carry on an hour conversation,” said David Hamilton, senior pastor of West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc and a former Mississippi Baptist Convention president.

The three-minute story often is used by churches and Christian organizations at events where witnessing is coupled with a prize giveaway to attract people.

Joseph Luby, West Heights’ associate pastor of education, and one of the church’s deacons suggested that West Heights use three-minute story witnessing at Pontotoc’s annual arts and crafts fair, the Bodock Festival, in northeast Mississippi.

West Heights is sponsoring a booth at the October event for the second time this year. Church volunteers will invite people to listen to their story and then register to win a prize. Last year the church gave away a riding lawnmower.

Mark Stegall of West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc, Miss., voices his three-minute testimony to a couple interested in entering a drawing for a riding lawnmower.

As festival-goers walk by the booth, Hamilton explained, “We’ll tell people, ‘We want you to sign up to win this lawnmower.’ We tell them it doesn’t cost anything, but it does cost them three minutes of their time. Most folks in Pontotoc will give you three minutes.”

At last year’s two-day festival, 36 volunteers shared their stories with 850 people. Five prayed to receive Christ, the pastor said.

In another application of the method, a group of the church’s youth in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes used the three-minute story, coupled with a $100 gift card giveaway, to witness to their classmates. Luby reported that three youths made professions of faith during the student-led initiative.

The three-minute story witnessing method has been used at numerous events — large and small — since Texas evangelist Ronnie Hill came up with the idea.

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Source: Baptist Press