As the church in North America continues to change, many parishes are moving from organizations focused on maintaining the status quo to communities focused on missionary discipleship. One of the easiest ways to begin this journey is to encourage that every parish meeting, event, or community gathering open with someone sharing a short personal testimonial of how God has changed his or her life. Using personal testimonials is a great way to supercharge the spiritual lives of your parishioners.

You can prepare your parish staff and leaders by hosting a short testimonial workshop using these questions from Catholic Leadership Resources. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a core group of people you can call on to give testimony at parish events. The goal is simple – show your parishioners the various ways in which God acts in the lives of ordinary people. (And the guys over at Every Knee Shall Bow love using them – that should be enough of an endorsement!)

After a few months, host a public workshop on how to write personal testimonies and continue to expand the list of people who can be called upon to give a testimony. Soon you’ll have a large group of parishioners who are comfortable sharing the story of how God has changed their lives – a dedicated team of missionary disciples. Using personal testimonials at the parish level is a game-changer.