If you’ve been involved planning modern worship for any length of time, you’ve probably ran across (or programmed) cardboard testimonies at some point. Cardboard testimonies are basically just that – short testimonies written on pieces of cardboard. Rather than giving spoken testimonies, the people simply come out one by one and hold up their cards. It’s actually a lot less threatening for the more introverted folks in the congregation than having to get up and actually give a verbal testimony.
There are a ton of ways to do this – we’ll take a look over the coming days of some options to incorporate this concept into your worship flow. A good start is the “Was/Is” or “Then/Now” method. In this variation, each person has a card with a single word on each side – they come out, hold up side one for a few seconds, flip to side two (while hopefully showing a matching facial expression), and then walk off. For example, a person might hold up a card that says “Broken,” and then flip it over to a side that says “Whole.” Other possible combinations might say “Abused/Healing,” “Empty/Filled,” or “Alone/Loved.” Of course, you want these to be things that come from their real lives. It’s usually a safe bet to end with a salvation-related card.
As with anything, how much time and effort you put into the planning will usually have a direct impact on the excellence of what happens. Creating a list of all of the cards, numbering them and having clear instructions, start times, etc… for all involved will really help things to run smoothly. A few “duh” items that have happened when we’ve done these: markers that don’t work when we ask people to make their cards, illegible handwriting, misspelling (this happens A LOT), people holding cards upside down, people holding their cards at an angle that makes the card impossible to read from the congregation, writing too small (or thin), and the like. To make things work well, one word – rehearsal!