Suggestions on A Three Minute Testimony
Some of this material is adapted from The Navigators' 2:7 Series Book 2: Deepening Your Roots in God's Family and the CoMission Training Manual).
The apostle Peter challenges us: "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). One of the most effective tools you have for sharing your faith is the story of how Jesus Christ gave you eternal life and how He has enriched your life. The Apostle John wrote, "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard" (1 John 1:3). John was testifying about his relationship to Jesus Christ. When the apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa (Acts 26), he spoke simply, logically, and clearly about his life before salvation, how he met Christ, and what his life was like after conversion. Paul's testimony takes three or four minutes to read aloud in a conversational manner. Although you will be writing your testimony, the purpose is not to memorize it and give it word-for-word. The purpose is to help you put into words some of the important and interesting details of your conversion. The choice of the right words, the flow of your story, and knowing how to begin and how to end are all important. Ask the Lord for wisdom and insight into just how to share your story. Many have come to Christ simply because people like you and those you are helping have sharpened their testimony. It is one way to "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).
Here are some tips, as you begin to think about sharing your testimony (story):
* Ask God to give you wisdom and guidance as you prepare your testimony. This acrostic may help.
* Simple, easy to understand, not a lot of "religious words.
* Two to three minutes long so that people will listen to what you are saying.
* On Christ; keep your focus on Jesus and highlight what He has done for you.
* Remember to use the Bible, a key verse will add power to your story.
* You! Make it personal. Your story is unique. Don't try to be like someone else.
* Use some of the following questions to get you started on the three parts of your story.
MY LIFE BEFORE CHRIST: [BEFORE]
* At the time you decided to come to Jesus, what were your thoughts? needs? problems? hopes?
* How did you feel about your life at that time? What in your life was most important to you?
* What are some of the ways you looked for happiness, peace of mind, and significance?
* In what ways did you find your life was not satisfying?
* At what point did you begin to realize the seriousness of sin?
HOW I CAME TO FOLLOW CHRIST: [HOW]
* What led to your commitment to follow Jesus?
* When and how did you first hear about Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection?
* What were your first reactions to Jesus?
* What barriers or hindrances to faith in Jesus did you experience?
* When did you actually receive Jesus and commit your life to Him?
MY LIFE SINCE I DECIDED TO FOLLOW CHRIST: [SINCE]
* What happened after you received Jesus and decided to follow Him?
* How long before you noticed some change or difference in your life?
* What are some specific examples of how God worked in your life, actions, and attitudes?
* What verse(s) of Scripture soon after helped you to understand your new life in Christ?