Cherrydale Baptist Church
Friday, December 13, 2013
To love God and people above all else
Preparing A 3-5 Minute Testimony
What is a testimony? A testimony is nothing more than your story—more specifically, a story about your relationship with God. Because of what Christ has done, you have an intimate, personal relationship with God Himself—share that! Your own personal story is a great framework around which you can weave the Gospel message and Scripture verses, while at the same time connecting at a deeper level and developing a relationship with the person you're talking to. A story also adds authority, as it takes verses of Scripture or Gospel truths that might otherwise mean nothing to someone, and makes it meaningful by showing how it had real, tangible meaning for and effect on you.
Tips for Developing a Short Gospel Testimony
It’s a Story
People want to know about people. Your personal story can reach people in ways that pure doctrine simply cannot. There are many ways you can share your story, and many stories of yours to share. For example, you may want to follow this three-point outline:
Write It Down
Giving your testimony is not as easy as you might think. Writing it down ahead of time works to prevent rambling and a lack of focus due to nervousness when speaking your testimony. Writing it also helps develop a focused, methodical story. And so far as timing goes, 120-130 words (1/2 page) equals about a one-minute testimony.
By adding details and allowing a listener to visualize your story, it becomes more real, and more personal. Try to take abstract truths (e.g., “God is all-powerful”) and make them real through examples (e.g., “I saw God's sovereign power in my life through . . .”). If at all possible, use pictures of places or people to make your story all the more real to whoever is listening.
Make It Accessible
Although at first obvious, it is easy to forget when sharing a testimony that you are sharing with non-Christians.
Connect With Your Audience
The more and deeper someone can relate to your story, the more effective it will be. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share some of your deeper feelings. If someone can place themselves in your shoes, and see your heart, or their own heart in your experiences, then they can better understand not only where you are coming from, but also the relationship with God you are trying to share.
It is good to have a consistent angle or theme (e.g., working through alcoholism, loneliness, condemnation, etc.). Try to find a good balance between giving good, pertinent details about your story while at the same time not getting lost in them. You might find it effective to work out individually the who, what, when, where, and why of your story; keep in mind that the chronological order might not be the best order. Especially do not talk too much about how bad you used to be. Keep your language also as simple and direct as possible, so that it is easy to understand.
This is the best way to fine-tune your testimony. Write it out, commit it to memory, and then share it with your friends or family. Ideally, try to find a non-Christian to listen to your testimony and give you their perspective on it; in this way it also becomes an evangelism tool.
When sharing your faith there are three points to keep in mind:
“Successful witnessing is stepping out in faith to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting God to work.” Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ Founder
Questions To Start A Spiritual Discussion