Husbandhead and I are very different. He likes green olives, I like black. He loves sunshine, I like rain.He thrives on change and conversation; I like routine and (sometimes) silence. He’s positive, easy-going and brave…I’m melancholy, uptight and chicken-hearted.
He’s an evangelist. I am not. One sniff of a sandwich board and he’s away – I’m away too, but in the opposite direction.
I’m not good at sharing my faith. If I tell folks I’m a Christian, they’ll think all believers are weird. I don’t know the answers to tricky questions. And I struggle with conversational basics, let alone apologetics.
However – how can I live and not speak of the most important relationship in my life? It would be like pretending I never got married and living like I was still single. Plus, it’s keeping the best news – the meaning of everything – to myself. Which seems a little greedy.
Even if I’m not a official evangelist, I’m still a ‘testimony Giver’ – which means my gift, and yours, is to share what God’s up to in our lives. That’s my testimony. Not as a crazy, adrenalin-fuelled one-off. Not as a lecture or a guilt-trip. A natural part of the way we live and share ourselves. And whether your story is a Miss Marple or a Killer Zombies – it’s prime time: unique, powerful and (honestly!) interesting.
‘In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’. 1 Peter 3:15
So, some ingredients when sharing your story:
1. It’s personal, not preachy
You are opening your heart to reveal how God has dealt with you – and not all (or any) can be applied to everyone else
2. It is short
As a starter, I’m thinking four mins, tops. (Which might take practice…)
3. Jesus is central
He’s what we offer – so we can have confidence in what we’re saying
4. It uses the Bible
Not hundreds of verses that will overload you and the listener – but maybe one or two. Because His word works.
5. It is honest
You don’t need to set yourself up as Mother Teresa or Saddam Hussein. Tell it like it is.
6. It is prayerful (this is the biggest)
Some thoughts on testimonies:
Before and After:
1. Before: What was my life like before I received Christ? What did he do? What was it about him that attracted me?
2. How did I come to understand the Gospel? Share what Christ did for you at the cross – forgiveness and rising again: eternal life. Maybe include a good verse that explains what happened (Mark 1:14-15; John 3:36; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 10:9).
3. After: What changed ? Attitudes and desires and values, actions and habits, relationships
4. What do you think?
If you’ve always believed..
1. The Present
a. What does my faith in Jesus Christ mean for me today?
What are the most significant things about my life with Jesus?
2. The Past
- How did I grow into my present relationship with Jesus? eg; significant events and circumstances.
- Who were the most significant people in this process? Comment on one or two people who encouraged you to keep believing.Explain what they did or said which influenced you.
What do you find hardest about sharing your faith? What helps?