Your testimony is important. It is the story of how God has worked and is working in your life. A couple of weeks ago I gave a sermon on Psalm 34 exploring the idea of using your testimony as a means of discipleship. Your testimony can also be a great means of evangelism, opening up an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone who does not yet know Christ.
The Apostle Peter said,
“But in your hearts revere 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,” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV11)
Peter was talking to people who were suffering persecution. So you don’t have to have a life free of trouble to be a person of hope. This verse helps lets us see that we need to be ready to share our reason for hope (the Gospel) with respect (yes, you can share your faith without an argument). In light of this idea of being ready to share your hope I suggest two things:
Be able to share your testimony in a simple way
There are many different ways to share your testimony. Some people feel that if you prepare your testimony beforehand you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you, but preparation is not a stumbling block to the Holy Spirit. Preparing your testimony allows you to communicate clearly. When you are prepared it can keep you from rambling and even free you up to speak extemporaneously as you feel the Spirit moving you to do so. Having a couple different means of communicating your story is like having a toolbox full of tools.
The important thing is to keep it simple. If the person you are speaking to wants you to go into more detail, you can do that, just remember the point is to point to the reason for our hope–Jesus Christ. If you have not shared your testimony before, please do. If you would like some help organizing your thoughts, here is a simple guide to help you put together and clearly communicate what Christ has done for you:
- Find an opening– This is a way to begin the conversation. Look for natural openings to share your faith. These might be questions from the person with whom you want to share your faith. It might be statements or themes in a conversation you are having with someone. E.g., Q: “Why do you believe in God?” A: “Well, let me tell you a story…;” Statement: “I just wish I could have some peace.” Answer: “Would it be okay if I told you a little about what has helped me?”
- Your life before Christ–This is the background to your faith in Christ. We all have different stories here. I had a turbulent upbringing and was in a desperate place when I first found Christ. On the Other hand, my wife was raised in a Christian home and can’t remember a time when she did not believe. Both types of backgrounds are evidence of God’s grace and can be a springboard into what led you to Christ.
- Your conversion– How were you introduced to the Gospel? When and how did you realize that you were in need of forgiveness? What made you see the benefits of a relationship with Christ?
- Your life since Christ– I remember sharing my testimony with a group once and when I was done someone asked, “That’s a wonderful story about your conversion, but what has Christ been doing in your life since then?” Becoming a Christian is not just about conversion (Justification) is also about life change (Sanctification). Share how your relationship with Christ has changed your life. Remember, just because you are Christian does not mean you have a problem-free life. How is your relationship with Christ helping you through life’s ups and down’s?
- Closing statement– This will vary depending on the situation. The basic idea is to connect your story back to the question or the theme that you began with. You might sense that the Holy Spirit is urging you to share more or you might stop there. You might ask if you can share a scripture with them (Something pertinent to salvation).
Just remember, you are not preaching a sermon, you are telling your story. Be conversational and avoid religious jargon. It does not need to be fancy, but it should be clear, biblical, truthful, and genuine. Keep it Short. About 2-3 minutes is a good place to start. You can always expand.
Here is a video guide to sharing your testimony.
Watch “Your Testimony in two minutes” by clicking on the video by clicking here.
Be able to share the Gospel from Scripture
Sharing your testimony is good. It can lead naturally into sharing the Gospel through the use of scripture (You can even combine these techniques). Sharing the Gospel with scripture is important because God’s word is infallible, it pierces the heart, and faith comes by hearing the word of God. So use scripture. I will share a simple way of communicating the gospel in another post.