One of the most powerful tools of an evangelist is a personal testimony. Sometimes people will not be interested in hearing the Gospel, but they will listen to your story. Every believer should be ready to share their testimony at a moment’s notice. You have a testimony that can impact someone’s life.
Whether your story is amazing or ordinary God can use it to impact people’s lives. When you share the story of how you became a believer, you give glory to God. Your testimony does not have to be a story about living a rock-and-roll, drugs and alcohol lifestyle in order to be effective. Every person, even those raised in a Christian home, must make a choice to follow Jesus. Some people may have a dramatic conversion story, others may have gone through a long process, but everyone realizes at some point that something in their life needs to change.
A Biblical Foundation for Sharing a Testimony
- Testimonies are powerful: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV).
Your testimony makes you relatable. Everyone experiences human emotions like fear, shame, guilt, hate, or loneliness. By sharing how Jesus helped you overcome your negative emotions, you build an emotional connection with the person you are ministering to. Your testimony builds faith in the lives of your listeners.
- Your story is an eyewitness account of how God has changed your life: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard…” (1 John 1:3 NIV).
Your testimony disarms people’s defenses. People can argue with you about the meaning of different Bible verses, but no one can dispute the story of what God has done in your life.
- We should always be ready to share our testimony: “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15-16 NKJV).
- Three times in the book of Acts, we find Paul’s testimony (Acts 9:1-19; 22:2-21; 26:2-23). Paul used his testimony as a witnessing tool.
How to Prepare Your Testimony
A personal testimony has three parts. In Acts 26, when the Apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa, he shared about his life before Christ, how he met Christ, and what his life became like after he met Christ. Your testimony should follow the same pattern:
Part #1: What was my life like before I met Christ?
- What about my life before Christ will relate to the non-Christians I am ministering to? Paint a picture of what your life was like before you came to Christ. What sins did you struggle with? You do not need to dwell too long on your past sins but share enough to communicate your need for God.
- What was important to me before Christ? Where did my identity, security, and happiness come from?
- What were your unsatisfied, deep inner needs? Examples could include lack of peace, desire to achieve, fear of death, sense that something is missing, no meaning in life, loneliness, lack of purpose, lack of security, lack of significance, no friends, no motivation, etc.
- How did the things I was trusting in let me down?
Part #2: How I Came to Christ
- How did I first hear the Gospel? How did I react? Give the details of how the Gospel impacted your life. What events led to your conversion?
- How did my attitude about the Gospel start to change?
- What issues did I struggle with right before getting saved?
- Why did I finally decide to give my life to Christ? What emotion did I feel? What steps did you take to become a Christian?
Part #3: What is my life like now that I know Christ?
- How is my life different now that I decided to follow Jesus? What changed in my character, my attitudes, or my beliefs?
- How has Christ changed your deep inner needs?
- What motivates me to live for Christ now?
- How does knowing Christ help me with the struggles of life?
By answering these questions, you can prepare a personal testimony that will bring the lost to Christ.
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