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How to Prepare Your Personal Testimony

Posted by Matt Postiff March 21, 2015 on Matt Postiff's Blog under GospelĀ 

Your personal salvation testimony can be presented more effectively by careful organization. The following guidelines will help you in preparing a testimony that will communicate effectively what Christ has done for you.

  1. Before you begin, ask the Lord to give you wisdom and guidance as you work on your testimony.
  2. Make brief notes on three separate sheets of paper labeled:
    1. BEFORE = a short sketch of what your life was like before you became a Christian
    2. HOW = the details of how, specifically, you took the step of receiving Christ
    3. AFTER = relating the changes in your life after you became a Christian
    4. Using your notes from the three sheets of paper, prepare a draft of your testimony, applying the guidelines below.
  3. Things to Avoid
    1. Avoid giving a travelogue dealing with externals and missing the spiritual matters.
    2. Avoid using lots of unnecessary details.
    3. Avoid mentioning specific churches, denominations, or groups (such as to criticize).
  4. Identify with those who will be hearing your testimony.
    1. Use word pictures to increase interest. Don't just say, "I grew up on a farm." You might briefly describe the farm so a person listening can visualize it.
    2. Remember that this is a testimony, not a "preachamony." Say "I" and "me" instead of "you." Keep your testimony warm and personal.
    3. Include some humor and human interest.
    4. Generalize so that more people can identify with your story. You could say, "For fifteen years I didn't miss a single service at church, but never heard how I could have eternal life."
  5. In the BEFORE, include both good and bad aspects of your life. Examples of good aspects might be a desire to excel, a concern for others, hard-working. Bad aspects might include an inferiority complex, temper, greed for finances.
  6. In the HOW...
    1. Communicate the gospel clearly from your first-person perspective.
    2. Start with God, that He wants us to honor, love, and serve Him.
    3. Tell about the fact and penalty of sin.
    4. Say how Christ died to pay sin's penalty and rose from the dead.
    5. Explain the need to turn from sin/rebellion and receive Christ.
    6. Convey how God promises eternal life and how you can be assured of salvation.
    7. Keep in mind that someone else should be able to trust the Lord through your testimony.
    8. Use Bible verses to back up what you say. You should quote at least one to show that you really believe it. The Bible is the authority. Don't say, "Bill shared with me that I had sinned and needed forgiveness." Say, "Bill shared with me that the Bible says...."
  7. In the AFTER, give some personal benefits of becoming a Christian. Emphasize the fact that the thing that has made the difference in your life was trusting in Christ as Lord and Savior.
  8. Try to outline your presentation on a 3x5 card so that you can give your testimony from this outline.

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