Your unique experience in coming to Christ can be an effective tool in communication the gospel to others. A carefully prepared testimony adapts well to either group situations or a casual one-on-one conversation. It enables you to speak confidently, knowing that your words are well-chosen, biblically accurate, and appropriate to the situation.
The body of an effective testimony generally includes three parts: what your life was like before you received Christ, how you received Christ, and how your life is different as a result after you received Christ. This is sometimes referred to as the Before/How/After format. Then you would only needs to add an attention-getting introduction and a brief concluding thought.
Before You Start
- Ask the Lord to guide your thoughts and written words. Then trust Him to do so. Remember, your story can bring glory to Him and also be a plan for the salvation of others.
- Write as if you were sharing with just one person. “Many first-time speakers make the mistake of speaking to a group instead of an individual. But if you write as if you are talking to one person, your testimony will be more direct. Each person in your audience will feel that you are sitting beside him or her personally to share your life.”
- Keep it short. Three minutes (about 1-1/2 to 2 pages typewritten double-spaced) gives you enough times to explain your experience and include a clear presentation of the gospel. That length causes you to be ver selective about what you communicate.
- Consider using a theme. A theme is a phrase or idea that is stated in the introduction, woven throughout the bodyn of the testimony and then restated in then conclusion. It helps to keep the testimony on track and aids on the listener’s understanding and retention.
The Bibile itself provides a good example to follow in Acts 22, 23 and 26. There Paul utilizes the “Before/How/After” format which we will follow.
Check out the next post in this series Putting It On Paper.