Your testimony - that means, the story of how you came to faith in Jesus Christ - is one of the best tools you have for sharing your faith. It's your story, it's undeniable, and it speaks of the power of Jesus. Check out these tips of sharing your testimony effectively.
Today, February 7th, 2018, is my 18th spiritual birthday. Yay, my faith is now an adult. 😉
I praise God for leading me to make the most important decision of my life 18 years ago. This means I have now been a Christian for more years than I have not. Woohoo!
I'm excited to share my personal testimony with you today, but first: Here are some tips for sharing yours...
- Be prepared to share part or all of your testimony at any given time. Practice it until it becomes second nature. Why? Your personal testimony is one of the most effective tools you have for sharing your faith.
- Focus on presenting the gospel as well as how it changed your life. The reason why your personal testimony is more powerful than walking someone through "the technicalities" of salvation is the fact that you have the chance to explain how walking with Jesus has made a difference in your life. Did it add purpose? Comfort? Acceptance? What was the most life-changing for you?
- Consider telling your testimony in three steps: the before, the salvation-part, and the after. Briefly explain what your life was like before becoming a believer - if you remember. Then explain how you came to faith and what it means. Then, as mentioned in step 2, explain what your life looks like with Jesus.
- There is no need to compare your testimony with someone else's or wonder if it's exciting enough to share. God saved you from a life of sin - whether you were a drug dealer or become a Christian as a well-behaved four-year-old.
Here is my story...
I grew up in Germany in a non-Christian home. My closest childhood friend invited me to come to her church when I was in first grade, and I attended with her for quite a few years. We also have a religion class in German public schools, so I did learn a number of Bible stories and was familiar with some of Christianity. I believed in God and even prayed every night.
However, my faith was mostly nominal. That means I didn't really understand salvation and the need for it. In fact, I believed there was no hell or devil, just God. I thought of God as only Love (like the warm and fuzzy kind) and not about justice or worried about sin. Therefore, even though I knew Jesus had died for us, it never computed that He actually had to die to pay for my sin or to save me from hell.
It's interesting how spiritual blindness works, isn't it? I often wonder how I had grown up knowing so much about Jesus, yet never asked the question why He had to die if, in fact, we needed no saving.
When I was 17 years old, I came to the US as an exchange student and lived in the Chicago suburbs. I went to church with my host family. One day, a wonderful woman named Lorraine Holt who worked for Child Evangelism Fellowship gave an announcement, recruiting volunteers for her local good news clubs and summer backyard clubs. I told her I was interested, so we scheduled a time to meet.
At the start of our interview, she asked me about my testimony. I told her I started going to church when I was six years old. That's it. That was my testimony. She quickly realized that I was not a believer and began to explain the gospel to me. She told me about how all of us have fallen short of God's glory by sinning and that only Jesus could save us.
She could tell by my face that I struggled to believe this. She asked me if I had any questions. At that moment, I thought to myself that I should just fake my way through this conversation, make it to the training for the club leaders, and try to find out "what these people believed" - because I was curious. At that moment though, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit, saying, "Ask your question."
I told Lorraine that I didn't actually believe in hell or sin. Her response was, "But the Bible says so." Ladies, wouldn't you know, the authority of the Bible was oddly never an issue for me. That simple response made me perk up and listen to the rest of her explanation. As she continued, I understood for the first time my need for a Savior, whom I now have in Jesus.
She prayed with me as I asked God for forgiveness and committed my life to following Him. She told me that when I got home, I should write down this date into the front of my Bible. When I got back to my room, I actually looked for a pencil. I was unsure of what had just happened, and I thought that if I wrote this date in pencil, I could always erase it later. I remembered where I had seen a pencil earlier that day, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I heard God speaking to me, saying, "Go ahead and write this date in pen. This is for sure and will not change."
Lorraine had told me that the angels in heaven were praising God over the decision I had just made, and I could honestly feel it. I remember feeling a joy I had never experienced before.
My life took on a different direction after that. I used to dream about making a name for myself; now it was all about making Him known. Living a life with God at the head means always being able to ask the Creator of the universe for wisdom and guidance. He is also the best Father, giving comfort and peace beyond anything I could ever imagine.
I am so thankful that I've been walking with Jesus for 18 years now, always experiencing His patient love and ready forgiveness.
Ladies, I would absolutely LOVE to read your testimonies. Would you share them with us in the comments? Let's praise God together for His saving grace.