Tell Your Story! 12 Easy Steps in Preparing Your Personal Testimony
“YOU KNOW MY NAME, BUT YOU DON’T KNOW MY STORY.”
Several years ago, we were part of a home Bible-study group trying to decide what to do next. One dear friend from Northern Ireland suggested that we try something from her church in Belfast. The church hosted evenings called, “You Know My Name, But You Don’t Know My Story,” where members would share testimonies. One time, the pastor himself stood to speak. To everyone’s shock, he spoke of his criminal past, which included jail time for terrorism. Yet instead of inciting judgement from his fellow church members, his candour endeared them to him, and created an atmosphere of humility, vulnerability, and intimacy.
Our group decided to do the same. Every night, one of us would tell their whole story, and only a few people declined to share. A few days after I shared my story, I was contacted by a Czech lady in our group. She said she couldn’t sleep the night I shared, not exactly because of what I said, but because she had been touched. It made her think for the first time about the value of her life. She had been marginalized for her faith under communism and had never considered that her testimony could be used by God. As she lay in bed, God showed her the beauty of her story.
Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
Romans 8:28 TPT
(excerpt taken from our free eBook called 39 Stories, 39-stories.com)
I’m writing this to those who know Jesus as your Lord, and Savior. You’ve allowed Him to pick up the broken pieces of our life and put it back together in a beautifully unique way.
Perhaps you’ve never told anyone how you came to know God. A little planning will go a long way in presenting your God-story effectively. With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, you can immediately begin using your story in any situation.
12 EASY STEPS, AND YOU’LL BE READY!
- Pray and ask God to help you know what to say and how to say it effectively. Ask Him to give you the one main thought you want to communicate well.
- Take out a piece of paper or open a Word file and scribble some notes for yourself in three categories; life before knowing Christ, how you came to know Jesus (be specific) and how your life has changed exactly. In this step don’t worry how long it is or overthink your writing. Simply, let your thoughts flow.
- Begin writing again, this time prepare an opening that is attention getting. For example, think of when you were at the very lowest, or the very highest, and then back up and give some background information.
- Next, give only relevant information to the one main thought you want to communicate. Leave out useless, distracting details. They may be very important to you personally, but not to the reader or listener. Read it through their eyes. For example, too much detail with dates is irrelevant. You can just say “five years ago” rather than “on December 15, 2015.”
- Be honest and real. This may be difficult if you’ve tried hard to present yourself as perfect, which can be a real temptation in certain Christian circles. What the world needs is relatable, humble Christians who are brave enough to admit what they’ve been through so that God will receive the glory for the victory we have in Christ!
- Be positive. Don’t dwell for too long on the really dark parts of your story. Spend at least half of the time on the amazing benefits of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you’re tempted to speak negatively about any person or group, it may be a sign that you need to stop and forgive someone.
- Use at least one, but not more than two Bible verses.
- Learn in advance how to lead someone to Christ. HERE is an amazing tool you can practice in advance.
- Write a clear conclusion to your story. Read what you’ve written out loud and make corrections. Recreate your story from what you saw, heard and felt. Use adjectives.
- Test out your story on a fellow Christian whom you trust to be honest. Ask for their input. It is helpful to prepare a short and longer version. When speaking, take note of how many times you use filler words like “uh,” “so,” “like” and “um.”
- Pray for boldness and the right opportunity. Pray for God to give a passionate love for the lost. He will answer! You will be amazed!
- God will bring the increase. And, when He does, give Him the glory.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Don’t use Christian language; “walked down the aisle,” “born again,” “convicted by the Holy Spirit,” “Christ in my heart,” etc.
- Don’t talk down to people or preach at them without regard to their value, time, or reaction.
- Don’t mention church denominations. Those conversation about which Christians or churches are better or right are an immediate turn-off to pre-believers. Focus of the love of Jesus for all mankind.
- Don’t think your story has to be perfect before sharing! If God can speak through a donkey as He did in the Old Testament, He can speak through you and me.
THERE ARE MANY FORMS TO TELL YOUR STORY (think outside the box);
written (in letters, blogs, Instagram stories, emails, books, articles, FB posts, Twitter),
spoken (podcasts, face-to-face, voice recorded messages, radio programs),
video (FB live, FB post, Instagram IGTV, YouTube video, Vimeo, short films, interviews),
and other creative modes (short plays, art, tattoos, photography, choreographed dances and originals songs with a story).
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A NET…
When I was praying for this year, 2020, I felt like God gave me Matthew 13:47;
“Once again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a
net that was let down into the lake
and caught all kinds of fish.”
I began to meditate on that and all it could mean.
Now, with COVID 19 quarantine well under way, I am laughing because the Church must now use the interNET to cast the NET, let it down and catch all kinds of fish!
NOW is the time to tell your story. NOW is the time for the Church to use the internet to bring in all kinds of fish.
Join the #testifychallenge!