Testimony Bee

Check out this story....

INDIANAPOLIS — After months of intense preparation, hundreds of youths converged at the RCA Dome for the ninth annual National Testimony Bee.

"My testimony is awesome, and I tell it with genuine feeling so I think I have a chance at winning," said Megan Enrica, 14, who traveled from Juneau, Alaska, where she has given her testimony many times at local youth groups.

At the packed convention center, hundreds of kids found quiet corners to practice their presentations one last time before competing. Judges listened for authenticity and refinement in each 3-minute testimony. In the first round kids lost technical marks for "rambling" and repeating phrases like, "And then I" and "My mom was like." During the crux of each performance — the salvation moment — some kids faltered and fell into traditional descriptions like "I felt this heavy burden lift off of me," or "it was like love pouring into me."

Soon, word spread among contestants that the judges were leaning against emotionally charged deliveries. Several participants had lost points for TMI (too much information) and OT — Over the Top.

"The judges are probably reacting against last year when the testimonies were kind of overwrought," said a past judge on hand to observe. "One kid last year told us he 'wept like a broken fire hydrant with gushing sobs racking his body.' It was a little much."

As the dry conversion trend took hold, kids scrambled to tone down their emotional appeals. One contestant dropped any mention of tears and focused on the "seismic spiritual shifts" that took place in his soul.

"Testimonies have to change with the times," he said.

During the fourth round one girl was dismissed for gratuitous description.
"We didn't need to hear about her aunt's abortion," said a judge. "That was outside the scope of her testimony."

A 13-year-old boy from south Florida was removed for faking facts about his testimony. Enrica of Juneau lost in the third round to an 8-year-old from Kansas City who delivered a near-perfect testimony.

"I thought I had a chance," Enrica said tearfully, "but the competition is amazing. I'll have to work hard to get to the level of some of these kids."

Emerging victorious was June Clawson, 15, a lifelong Christian from Palm Springs whose testimony of quietly struggling to define her own faith found favor with judges.

"She nailed her presentation," said the lead judge as Clawson held the trophy aloft.

She will give her testimony on the 700 Club, which co-sponsors the bee.

Oh by the way...... April Fools!

Thank you Lark News.

1 Peter 3:15 come to mind?

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.


muzik316 said...



Jan Darrow Geist said...

And here I was getting all heated up trying to reconcile Pastor Steve's recent messages on "conveying vs. convincing" in telling our testimonies, AND getting all upset that mere-mortal-judges could devalue the worth of what each person had gone through in order to HAVE that testimony! (While at the same time wondering how an eight-year-old's story could be beter than a teen's.) What great lengths my mind leapt to in my hasty criticism of such a "Bee."

I had to read the "April Fools" announcement several times over to realize that I had been "had" royally. I laughed so hard! Later, I called in the hubby and kids and read it to them with as much seriosness as I could muster and just as their ire was being raised...BINGO! the payoff.

Great way to start my AFD!

David R. Darrow said...

You got me (and my unsuspecting 13-year-old daughter, whom I patted on the back for feeling very uncomfortable with the idea of a Testimony Contest). I was beginning to boil, and was reading patiently to the end, where I was expecting any self-respecting pastor to make some comment about how horrible such an event really was.

"April Fools" was close enough. You got me! I have never been more pleased to know I was had.

Now, excuse me, I have to go get a fish-hook out of my cheek.

David R. Darrow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doris said...

Looks like the Darrow's are at it again. Atta way, kids!
I'm glad that so far, all of us agree on "the very idea."
(You must have been raised right.)
I read the blog with a knot in my stomach.
I figured it was one more of those evangelical tricks, like putting a tract under the napkin.
I loved the big let down.

Brian Eberly said...

Happy April Fools Day everyone. You have all made my day! :-)

Jon & Chris Steele said...

Well, I read it on April 2nd, which is my cousin's birthday, and not April Fools, so now I feel like I've been evilly tricked, you cruel man! Just kidding. I pretty much had the same reaction--indignation followed by realization & relief.

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