Set aside some time now to go through this workshop. Then after it, think through your testimony and write it out.
If you don't have one, desperately pray that God would work in you to save you (also have a read of this article called "The message your life depends on").
What is a testimony?
In Luke 8:26-39, Jesus heals a man possessed by a demon. After doing this, he says in verse 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” In Psalm 66:16, the psalmist says “Come and hear... I will tell you what God has done for my soul.” These are some great examples of what a testimony is and they both show the key element of a testimony. Here are some key points about testimonies:
A testimony is where we proclaim the saving work that God has done in our life. It is a personal story about what has happened in you, but it is not about you. It is about God! It is about the things he has done and is doing in you.
It is where you tell of how God opened your eyes to the depths of your sin and desperate need of a saviour.
It is where you tell of how you realise that you are dead, blind, a slave to sin, someone who does not seek God, loves self and desperately needs the saving and transforming work of Jesus in their lives.
It is where you tell of how God brought you to a point where we trust in Him as our Lord and Saviour.
Ask yourself: Do you have a testimony of how God has done this in your life?
1. If you don’t, what should you do? Read Isaiah 55:6-7 and Romans 10:11-13. These passages show how you need to seek for God to save you. Only He can save you. Plead with Him until He does this and has worked in you to save. You are a dead, blind, sick, slave, stuck in the pits of sin and are about to be buried under God’s wrath. You need God to pull you out! Ask for Him to do this.
2. If you do have a testimony, then the rest of this session will look at how to share your testimony.
Why should we share our testimony?
Here are a few reasons why we should share our testimony. Because...
1. We are to not be ashamed of our testimony and the work that God has done in us (2 Tim 1:8). And if we are ashamed, it is a sure sign he hasn’t saved us and will deny us (Matt 10:32-33).
2. 1 Peter 3:15 says “In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” God calls us to be ready with an answer for why we have hope beyond death and why can be so sure we are saved.
3. When we speak of the work God has done in our lives, it can encourage others of the work God is doing.
4. People are dying and will spend an eternity in hell away from God and all that is good in Him. Shine the light of the gospel in your life and words (see Matthew 5:14-16).
A Biblical example of a testimony
Read Galatians 1:13-17. This is one place where Paul tells of his personal testimony. What does this passage teach you about a testimony?
For example, verses 13-14 show what he was like before God worked. And verses 15-17 show how God works to save Paul and then gives him a purpose.
What should a testimony include?
It must not just be a story about you. It must be about God and his work.
It must be about the gospel and how you have come to see you are saved by it.
It must include the key elements of the gospel. Romans 1:16 says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” God through the gospel has the power to save. Your story, evidence for God or good arguments cannot save people. Only the good news of what Jesus has done can saved. (See 1 John 5:10-11)
It should tell of your sinful state and what you were like before God saved you and what God has done to bring you to this point where you know you are saved.
How should I write it?
Try to include these key sections in your testimony as you write it.
1. Introduce what you are sharing and will be talking about. Introduce yourself and the key thing relating to how you were saved.
2. Talk about your life before you were saved. Show your failures and sin. Speak of what God used to bring you to a point where you saw that you desperately needed him to save.
3. Talk about how God saved you. Be sure to speak of the gospel and what Christ has done. Speak on how these things came to life in you. Speak of how God brought you to a point where you repented and believed in Jesus.
4. Talk about the gospel. At this point it is helpful to bring out some key elements of the gospel and speak of what Jesus has done and how this is what saves you and can save others from their rebellion against God.
5. Talk about your life after God saved you. Speak of the transformation that has happened since God has saved you. Don’t lie and say that you are now perfect. Christians still battle sin and have struggles, but if God works to save us and forgive us, He will also work to transform our lives and we should speak about this. Tell of what is different in your thoughts, desires, words and actions because of what God has done.
6. Close with a sentence or two summarising what you have said. You may want to even quote a verse that summarises the key elements of how God saved you.
As you share it, always examine your motives to see why you are telling your story. Watch for pride and be sure to always tell the truth and never exaggerate things to make you look good.
Pray as you write it out. Seek God’s help for what to say.
When you share it, try not to just read out words but speak naturally and how you would in a conversation.
Try to use simple language and terms that the average person who hasn’t grown up in church would understand.
Try to get straight to the point and not drag on with unnecessary detail. Aim to be a few minutes long.
Know key gospel verses and memorise them so you can share them as you share your testimony, and always come back to these gospel truths. You must tell of how Jesus died, was buried and rose again to provide the forgiveness of your sin. You must tell people of how they need to repent and trust in Him.
How should I use my testimony?
As you write it and think, thank God for the work that He has done in your life. It is a blessing to see what God has done and reflect on it regularly.
Tell it to friends as you speak with them and those you come in contact with
Try to video yourself saying your testimony and post it on Facebook or Instagram. We challenge you to do this!