People can resort to arguments, but they can’t argue with results.
In our efforts to grow in the gospel, we must learn how to share our testimony of how we came to faith in Christ. There are many arguments out there regarding the validity of the Bible or the skepticism concerning a God you cannot see, but most people respect personal stories. We live in a time when people are very defensive regarding what they believe, but a good majority (not all of course) will respect someone else’s personal convictions (until they infringe upon their own).
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter. 3:15).
As you share the gospel with others, a great way to express the gospel is by sharing your personal testimony. If you look in Acts 22; 26, you see that the Apostle Paul was able to share his testimony in 2-3 minutes. That range is a great benchmark for us to attempt. In 2-3 minutes, could you share the story of your conversion?
As you prepare your testimony, here are some things to consider:
- Avoid “Churchy” Language – Be careful that your theological language doesn’t fall on deaf ears. They might not know the terms, so find ways to articulate carefully.
- Keep It Brief – 2-3 minutes is a great starting point to have prepared when that is all you have. Obviously, you can expand on it when the opportunity presents itself, but sometimes, that is all the time you have.
- Refrain from Raunchy Details – You can explain your sinfulness without detailing it. Your activity should be kept to a “G” rating and not make people’s mind wander or struggle with your descriptions.
- Make Jesus the Hero – If someone heard your testimony and thought you are a great person, you gave a success story and not a salvation story. Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2), so let him be portrayed as the hero.
- Identify the Three Phases – In order to cover your story well, think of what happened BC (who you were before Christ), Conversion (what happened and what did you understand when you received the gospel), and AD (how has Christ changed your life since).
- Setup for Followup – Don’t end your testimony in such a way that there is nothing else to say. Ask them questions. Encourage them to ask you questions. Have a followup prepared so that the conversation can continue then or later.
I encourage you to draft out your testimony and practice it on a Christian friend.
Allow them to time you, check you for confusing explanations, and point out ways to clarify your testimony. Once you have done that, pray that God would open up doors to share with others and get to sharing your testimony!