Telling Your Story

by Nate Powell
We were in the middle of your typical Monday morning staff meeting the other day: Emily, Janell and myself. We were reflecting on the past week’s happenings, when we suddenly had some unusual visitors. A retired gentleman followed by four teenagers walked in. The teens seemed a bit on the shy side, but the older gentleman piped right up: “Hi, my name is Paul, and my dad used to be the pastor at the Auburn Christian Church.” I looked at Janell and we both knew we were going to need to take a recess from our meeting for me to talk with this gentleman.
His name was Paul Platt, and his father, Harold D. Platt, was the pastor at ACC from 1950-52. Paul spoke of remembering attending church in our building as a young boy, and attending elementary school at the old brick school by highway 136. His family had moved to Auburn in his younger years from a ministry with the Missouri Valley Church of Christ. Following their time here, his father would take a pastorate in Kansas, before eventually becoming a professor at Dallas Christian College.


While his story was interesting enough, I loved even more to hear why he had four teenagers following him to Auburn, Nebraska. Paul introduced me to his four grandsons. It turns out that they were on a long 2 ½ week road trip. Paul had left his home out east (Virginia, I think), picked up 2 grandsons in South Carolina, picked up 2 more in Texas. They then proceeded on a long road trip to explore the roots of their grandfather and great grandfather. It was so great to hand each of those teens a copy of our centennial church history book and hear them immediately exclaim “There he is!” as they found a picture of their great-grandfather. “We have that picture at home!”

What Paul was doing is something that is so important and is perhaps even a lost art among the young and old today: the art of testimony. It’s the art of storytelling and passing on the tales of how you have seen God work in your life.

Asaph, one of the psalmists, reminded us that this is our important duty: to remember what God has done and pass on those tales to the next generation. Hear his words in Psalm 78:1-7:

“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;     incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable;     I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known,     that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children,     but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,     and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers     to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,     so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”

For all who call themselves Christian: Every one of us have a story, a testimony, to share with all who come after us, to remind them of the goodness of our God. These stories remind them that God wasn’t just good or moving in lives during Bible times; He does those things now.

So what is your story? You might not get to take a long trip like Paul and his grandsons; but you can make plans to tell your family of God’s goodness to you. We ALL have a story. Let’s not let them go to waste.