What do you think of when your hear the word “Testimony?” I think of a few different things, from my college days studying Criminal Justice – what a witnessed actually says in court is called testimony. Then a testimony in the Bible. Which is an account we share about how we’ve come to have a personal relationship with God.
Every time you tells of the account about how you came to have a relationship with God, we give glory and honor to God, and He is pleased. This account of this is our testimony about how God has changed our ,ice through a personal relationship with Him.
Out testimony – regardless of how ordinary or spectacular we think it is – is an account about God’s character. It is your eyewitness account of how God rescued us from sin and death through Christ, and changed our life as a result.
When you share your story with others, you help them get to know what God is like and what He can do.
Preparing Your Personal Testimony
Whether you are in line at the grocery store, sitting with a family member or standing in front of a group of people, the Bible calls us to “always be ready” to explain our hope in Christ with gentleness and respect (1Peter 3:15-16).
Your story is one of the most valuable tools you have for sharing the gospel with a person who does not follow Jesus. Not that, but it’s not a tool you have to remember to carry in your backpack or purse; it’s so you have at all times no matter the circumstance. Being prepared for an open door to share with someone is crucial if you are going to be faithful to share the story God has given you.
You may think that because it’s your account of what happened to you, you do not have to do anything to be ready to tell it. After all you were there when it happened, and your living it now.
But it’s easy to get nervous, become sidetracked or forget things when sharing your testimony, which can be confusing or distracting for those listening. This is why a little preparation and practice can be valuable.
I once shared my testimony to a group of recovering addicts, I was not ready, (sometimes God just throws us out of the boat), I cried through The whole thing. But it was important for them to know, that whatever others go through God can help them through it. I remember 3 people said the “sinners prayer” and were saved that night. In this case my testimony held a few people find their way to God.
It’s important to be prepared to share your story clearly and concisely at any time, a person coming to know Jesus is not dependent on your communication skills. God is ultimately the one who will give your audience understanding and soften a person’s heart to receive the gospel. But your role is to take a step of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the rest to God.
It’s important to realize that sometimes sharing your testimony, makes us stronger, and it’s because it God moves when we take steps of faith to share with others,
There are many accounts in the Bible of people sharing about how God transformed their lives. One of the most well-known testimonies is told by the Apostle Paul. Paul went from persecuting Christian’s to following Jesus, starting churches, and writing over half of the New Testament. If you takeaway look at Paul’s testimony before a crowd in Acts 22: 1-21 you will understand the essential parts of telling your testimony.
Here are a few tips to understand good framework for telling your personal testimony.
Identify a theme you can use to frame your story. What did your life revolve around. What is relationships, your reputation, success? What did God use to help bring you to Him? Illustrate how that influenced your life.
Your Life Before Christ
Pain a picture of what your life was like before you came to Christ. Do not dwell too much on, or brag about, past sins. Share only the details that relate to your theme – just enough to show your need for Christ. Think through these questions:
- What about my life before Christ will relate most to non -believers I know?
- What did my life revolve around? Where did I get my security, identity or happiness from?
- Hoe did those things begin to let me down?
How You Came To Christ
Give the details about why and how you became a believer. Communicate in such a way that the person you are talking with, and anyone who overhears you, can understand how they can become a believer too. Even if your listeners are not ready for that, God could use your story and explanation as a seed to draw them to Himself in the future. Think through these questions:
- When was the first time I heard the gospel? What were my initial reactions?
- When and why did my perspective on Christ begin to change?
- What were the final struggles that I went through before I accepted Him? Why did I finally decide to accept Christ ( or give Him complete control of my life?).
Your Life After Coming To Christ
Share some of the changes that Christ has made in your life as they relate to your theme. Empathize the changes in your character, attitude or perspective, not just changes in your behavior. Be realistic. We still struggle as believers. Life is far from perfect, but what’s different about your life now? Think through these questions:
- How is my life different now? List some specific changes in your character, attitude, and perspective on life.
- What motivates you now? What do I live for?
- Even though your life still isn’t perfect, how does knowing Christ help you deal with that fact?
End with a statement that summarizes your story and connects everything back to your theme. If you want, close with a bib verse that related to your experience.
My advice is to pray before you write out or share your testimony. Ask God for wisdom and the words to say.
Write the way you speak, be honest, and aim to keep your testimony with a 3-5 minute limit (people seems to get distracted if it’s any longer). Practice your testimony out loud several times until you feel comfortable saying it In from of people.
The Lord can use you to help others come to know Christ. Ask God for opportunities to share your testimony and the gospel with others.