Testimony is also called taking part or to speak in meetings. One must first profess to have the privilege of participating in the meetings in testimony, prayer and communion.
All professing members are expected to participate, one by one, in the weekly Fellowship Meetings. The only acceptable excuse for being absent from meetings is sickness or death. Scripture they use to support Fellowship Meetings is:
1 Cor 14:31 – For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
1 Cor 14:26 – …when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Each professing member studies the Bible up to the appointed meeting time. During the Testimony period in the meeting, shares a spiritual thought that was meaningful to them. This is called giving their testimony, and is considered sharing spiritual bread. Testimonies are given in random order, usually around 2-5 minutes, with the elder usually speaking last and longer.
Worker Quote: I’m sure glad to have a little part in this meeting tonight and we are so thankful that we see God’s work throughout the world having the same stamp and the same spirit prevailing (Alec Wright)
As a disciplinary measure, a member may have their part taken away (lose the ability to speak/testify in meetings) temporarily or permanently. Those members may sing, but are not to participate in prayer, testimony or communion. In Australia and New Zealand, this is called to stand down or to be stood down.
Depending on the area in which they live, some divorced and remarried couples are not allowed to participate; and in some areas they may not even attend a Fellowship Meeting. They have no scripture to support withdrawal of privileges or communion.
Another meaning for the word Testimony is the work of God in a 2x2s personal life; the story of one’s Christian life.
Worker Quote: Everyone has a different testimony. We build up our testimony through the years. Young people might not have a dramatic start, but as they have some real experiences later, their testimony becomes very real and living (Ken Paginton, Pukekohe NZ, 1981).
Worker Quote: Young people have to watch the world. It is a constant enemy. It could easily influence a young life into doing something that would spoil their entire future. Old people have to watch the world, also. It could easily influence them into doing something that would wreck their past. That would spoil a good testimony that we have been years in building up. A brother once said, “I am an old man, but not so old that I could still do something that would wreck my testimony.” We all want to leave a good testimony. We would not want to be found hating ourselves at the setting of life’s sun. We want to leave behind a testimony that would be a good influence after we are gone (John Cook, Special Mtg).