One of the greatest witnessing tools available to anyone is their own Christian testimony. Telling other people your own story of how you understood your need for salvation is a powerful means to witness to others around you. This does not mean that you should avoid telling them what the Bible says, but giving a clear example through your life of how God can save and change a person is a great first step in bringing someone to the Lord.
If you have not shared your testimony with others before, let me encourage you to write it out. Writing your Christian testimony will help you hone in on what is important in your story and what is not. Preparing your testimony on paper will give you a confidence that will help you when you stand before a group or share with an individual.
As a powerful witnessing tool, your testimony should simply share with the listener (or reader) the basic elements of salvation. Here are some questions that will help you think through the basics of what each testimony should include.
- How did God reveal to you that you were a sinner?
- Once you understood your condition before God, how did God begin to show you His love?
- With an understanding of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, what were the next steps you took to accept His salvation?
- Did God use one person or event to show you your need, or were there several people over time that God brought into your life?
- What were some of the events surrounding your salvation? Were you in a church? At a park?
- Do you have any stories that illustrate how God made Himself known to you?
Now that you have your testimony written down, you need to look for opportunities to tell others. Often people will give their testimony for the first time at a church meeting. When going on a mission trip the individuals in the group are usually asked to share their testimony with others in the group or on the field where they are visiting. These are great opportunities to tell others what God has done for you. You are surrounded by friends who want to know more about God’s leading in your life.
Your friends and co-workers may be the first ones who see that there has been a change in your life. You might find it easy to tell them about the Lord because they are already curious. However, telling strangers about your salvation may seem a little awkward. Just remember the last time you got involved in a conversation with someone you had previously never met. Did you talk about the weather? Your favorite baseball team? We usually talk about things that are going on around us. Use that as an opportunity to steer the conversation so you can tell what God has done for you.
Be careful to avoid “church words.” These are the words and phrases we become accustomed to in the church, but the world has no idea what they mean. Remember each time you give your testimony that there may be someone in the audience who is unsaved. This is true even if you are telling your story in church. Keep your words easy to understand.
- What is a sinner?
- What does it mean to repent?
- You were convicted?! Of what crime?
Try to use normal vocabulary. Not everyone has the same background and experiences you have. Take time to answer any questions that come up about the Lord. Not everyone will get saved the first time they have the Gospel presented to them. It is our privilege to tell others about our salvation, it is God’s responsibility to draw them to Himself.
Reading books like Ray Comfort’s God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life or Charles Ryrie’s book, So Great Salvation, will help you understand your own salvation in a clearer way. These books can help you define, in simple terms, what salvation means to your friends.
Sharing your Christian testimony is important. By writing it out and sharing it with your friends, you will soon become bold enough to tell complete strangers about your Savior.