At least twelve times seventeen-year old Bryan shared his testimony in India. His story of God miraculously healing his inoperable, incurable brain tumor was a mighty testament to God’s power. His dedication to serve God was an encouragement to all who heard him. Bryan reinforced what I have always believed—the most effective means of evangelism is often sharing our story.
If you know Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, you have a unique story—a testimony to God’s authenticity. While people may refuse to accept a gospel tract and scoff at you for trying to explain Christianity, very few people will be so rude as to reject your life story. The most credible way to share Jesus is to share what He means to you, what He has done and is doing to change your life.
It’s amazing isn’t it! We will gladly tell a stranger or all our friends about a health product if it makes us feel better. We will eagerly share a great recipe or tell folks about a great product that is on sale. But when it comes time to share about the One Who gives us hope, meaning and direction, we become strangely mute or afraid to say anything for fear we might offend someone. Many in the world are dying without truth for what we should be willing to die to tell them. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Brothers and sisters, you also have experienced that same power Paul proclaimed, as God has also saved and equipped you—so proclaim it!
John 19:35--He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth.
1 John 5:10-- (The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.)
Here is a simple guide that I have found helpful:
How to Share Your Testimony
1. Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance as you write out your testimony (James 1:5,6).
2. Use a simple outline:
4. Write your testimony in a manner which will allow you to speak so that others feel like they can associate with your past and present experiences. Focus on how you became a Christian and not just why it is great to be a Christian.
5. Emphasize how good God’s grace and mercy is. The intent of the testimony is to point a person to Christ. God’s objective truth is more important than our subjective experience. It is important that a person understand that faith is based on historical facts and the authenticity of Christ and our lives reflect this truth. While our feelings are important and should be shared be sure to emphasize Scripture which defines how we are lost and need salvation. (John 3:16; Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9,10).
6. Practice presenting your testimony to someone who can constructively listen and give you feed-back as to clarity, style and content. Memorize and practice it until it becomes natural.
7. Share with enthusiasm in the power of the Holy Spirit—1 Co.2:4,5. When you share, be sure to end with a strong conclusion. A good testimony is like an appetizer, it stimulates hunger for more! If your listener asks to hear more that’s a great sign. But even if they don’t you should be encouraged that you were faithful to take the opportunity to share.
Things to Avoid:
1. Don’t force your testimony on someone, or set-them up. Don’t argue or use high pressure methods of getting a "decision" for Christ. The Holy Spirit is the One Who draws people to God so we don’t need to preach at people or try and make them feel guilty.
2. Avoid “Christianese” or glittering generalities in your speech. Words like "saved, born-again, convicted, converted, redeemed,and sanctifieddo not make sense to the average non-Christian. Words like, wonderful, glorious, etc. don’t give your listener anything specific or helpful.
3. Avoid being too wordy and distracting mannerisms when you speak, such as rubbing your nose, jingling coins in your pocket, swaying, clearing your throat, or repetitively using unnecessary words like "um”, “like” or “you know.”
4. Don’t overemphasize past sins in your life lest you turn a person away from seeing the need for Christ since the person listening may not feel like such a bad person.
5. Don’t emphasize church denominations or religious organizations—especially in a derogatory way. Don’t speak critically or negatively about other individuals or groups. Keep the focus on Jesus! Salvation is through Him not some denomination, order or fellowship.
6. Don’t give the impression that the Christian life is easy or without struggles.
Any subject matter can be presented more effectively by careful organization. A carefully prepared testimony, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can be of immediate and effective use in nearly every witnessing situation. It should be our desire to present Christ in such a clear, attractive, yet simple way, that those who hear will not only want to know Him, too, but they will also know ‘how’ to know Him personally.--Campus Crusade for Christ
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)