You are on mission everyday. Your actions, your atitude, your work ethic and how you lead your family all tell a story of what God has done and is diong in your life. From a simple act of kindness to a sacrifice of great proportions, you are representing the Kingdom everyday. However, most of us feel poorly-equipped and unprepared when it come to sharing our faith with words.
This guide will help you grow in your ability to tell your story of beginning a relationship with Jesus. It will help you craft short versions of your story for day-to-day opportunities you will get to share your testimony, and it will help you write out a longer version for a more formal public setting.
preparing your story
Witnesses tell their story. They aren't lawyers tsked with proving a case, or judges with the job of deciding a case. They simply tell their sotry from their perspective. When you open your mouth to tell the story of what Jesus has done in you life you are being His witness.
Many people look to the testimony the Apostle Paul gave in Acts 22 as a biblical example for how to share their story. Paul's story can be broken down into three easy parts that you can imitate for your testimony. Read through the scriptures to see how Paul shares his story.
Many people have dep inner needs before they begin a relationship with Jesus. What were some of your unsatisfied inner needs before you came to know Jesus. Write down all that apply and/or write in others from your story.
Desire to be in control
Fear of death
Lack of signifigance
Jesus uses many different ways to bring us to a place that results in a relationship with Him. We have diverse backgrounds and varied experiences. The following terms identify a few ways Jesus uses to bring many of us to Him. Write down any that apply to you and/or write down others that play a part in your story.
Jesus brought me to Him through:
Vacation Bible School
A Bible Study
Reading the Bible
Since Jesus became your Lord and Savior many things have changed in your life. Some of these changes are visible; some of them are internal. Use these keywords as a springboard to describe your life and the evidence of your life having changed. Write down all that apply and/or write in additional keywords relevant to your life.
Refining the story
To implant your story firmly in your head, you should develop a ten-second testimony that forms the basis for a more complete story. You can use the words you wrote down earlier from your before, during, and after notes. For example:
BEFORE: There was a time in my life when I was hopeless and confused;
DURING: then I had an encounter with Jesus at a church service that changed my life.
AFTER: Ever since that day I have had a purpose for living.
Another example could be:
BEFORE: I grew up believing I would go to heaven because I went to church and was a good person.
DURING: However, God used a low point in my life to help me realize I needed a Savior.
AFTER: Now I know that my hope for the present and the future is in what Jesus has done for me.
Always be ready
Each circumstance you find yourself in to share your story will be different from another. Sometimes you will only have a few seconds. At other times you can share larger oprtions of your story and go into greater detail. Shaping your story into differing lengths can be helpful.
The examples below will show you the same sotry expanded into ten, thirty, and sixty-second versions:
BEFORE: There was a time in my life when I had no lasting peace and joy,
DURING: but my uncle told me that was because I didn't have a relationship with Jesus. I started following Jesus as a disciple
AFTER: and I discovered the reality of true peace and joy.
BEFORE: When I was younger I couldn't find any lasting peace or joy in anything or anyone. I had an emptiness in me that friends, relationships, hobbies and activity couldn't satisfy.
DURING: One day, my uncle told me how Jesus diesd so that my life could have meaning and direction. I realized that my sin separated me from God and that I needed forgiveness. So, I prayed and asked God to forgive me and I started following Him as His disciple, learning to live like Him.
AFTER: Since that time I have learned that the Bible provides all the answers I need. No matter what comes along, God's peace and joy are mine forever.
BEFORE: When I was younger I couldn't find any lasting peace or joy in anything or anyone. Even though my friends and I were always on the move there seemed like there should be more to life than what we were experiencing. I had an emptiness in me that friends, relationships, hobbies and activity couldn't satisfy. Even my friends agreed, but none of us knew any different.
DURING: One day, my uncle and I were tlaking about some problems I was having; and he explained that my biggest problem was not having a personal relationship with Jesus. He explained that we all have sinned and that our sins had earned us death. He told me how Jesus died so that my sins could be forgiven and my life could have meaning and direction. So, I prayed and asked God to forgive me and I started following Him as His disciple, learning to live like Him.
AFTER: Since that time, God's lasting peace and joy have been mine as I have obeyed God's word to overcome the problems I face. I know that no matter what I face, God will help, guide, and strengthen me when challenges come my way.
writing your story
Once you have these basic portions of your story written out you should work on forming your testimony into a communicable story. This could be shared in your small group, your missional community, or in a church service.
There are probably a lot of additional details you could add to your story, but brevity is one of the keys to telling your story well. There's no need to include everything. If people have questions, or want to know more, they can always ask you.
As a guideline, you should write no more that 200 words on each phase of your story, so your total length is not more than 600 words. This will be about six minutes long when spoken aloud.
If you are interested in sharing your story in an upcoming service, use the button below to let us know.