Years ago I was trained and mentored by some highly successful people in business and sales. These guys owned agencies and networks. They taught me that stories, when incorporated strategically, sell products in the business sphere. Stories are powerful and open our minds to something new.
As a follower of Jesus, you have a story that is much more powerful than some disingenuous business world sales technique. Your story can be life changing for someone else. Sharing how you came to Jesus and the difference He’s made in your life can help others discover how they, too, can have a personal relationship with Him.
But how do you unpack a lifetime of experiences into a few minutes, and communicate the significance of your faith in a way others can understand? I struggled with being precise in sharing, so I developed a simple way for you to assemble your story to effectively share with individuals or groups. An intentionally prepared testimony, when empowered by the Holy Spirit, can be a tool you can use anywhere to effectively share the message of God’s love, grace and forgiveness.
Before you get started brainstorming and writing, begin by asking God to take over the process with His Spirit, and give you wisdom and transparency as you write. You are going to have to make yourself vulnerable to be relatable, ask Him for courage to open up about your past.
- What was your life like before you accepted Jesus Christ?
- What were your attitudes and problems at that time?
- What was most important to your security and happiness?
- How did you come to accept Jesus Christ and give Him complete control of your life?
- What feelings did you struggle with right before your decision?
- What happened after you trusted Christ?
- What changes did you see in your life? In your attitudes? In your actions?
- What does Jesus Christ mean to you now?
It’s time to get discerning and decide which details to include or not. Read through your ideas, and using a highlighter, underline the most important feelings, examples, or incidents from the questions. When completed, you should be able to share this in 3-5 minutes!
- Be positive from start to finish. People can find negative anywhere. If you are negative, they aren’t interested in what you are talking about. Don’t harshly criticize the church or other people.
- Use one or two Bible verses at most, but only when they would precisely relate to your story and fit in seamlessly.
- Avoid mentioning denominations and do not use Christian jargon such as “saved,” “convicted,” “born again,” “repentance,” as you will end up having to teach theology 101 instead of sharing your story.
Rehearse your testimony until it becomes natural. Practice sharing it with a Christian friend or family member. It’s never going to be perfect, that is ok because it’s not about you! Share your story with enthusiasm, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Begin to ask God to give you opportunities to tell your story, and look for openings. Pray to smile often and exude love. People you meet may comment that there’s something different about you. Those situations are not by chance. Rather, those are windows of opportunity to tell your story of faith in Jesus.
Tailor your story to your audience. Use examples from your experiences that will relate to theirs. The more you share your story, the easier it will get. Most people will appreciate your willingness to talk openly about your life, and no one can argue with your personal experience. Stay calm and do not argue no matter what they say. Do not use high pressure methods to persuade people to make decisions for Christ. Only Jesus can turn a mess into a message, He is worthy to be praised! When you step out in faith and leave your comfort zone to love people to Jesus, He will be there to empower you in your weakness. Step out of the boat with your eyes focused on Him, you’ll never regret it!
1 Peter 3:14-15
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.