We are looking at the fact that everyone has a story to tell. You have a testimony. In fact, you have a number of testimonies because God is at work in your life on a daily basis. Last time we saw:
1> ASK FOR PERMISSION AND DON’T BE PUSHY. 2> USE ORDINARY LANGUAGE
Let’s continue and look at two more points briefly…
3> START BRIEFLY AND SHARE MORE AS IT BECOMES APPROPRIATE
A short testimony is almost always better than a long one. Rather than telling your life story, try sharing just one experience with God or one event that led you to faith. Then you can always ask, “Could I share a little more about my relationship with Jesus?”
This question gives listeners a natural opportunity to enter into the conversation or to let you know that they have heard enough for now. If it looks like a conversation is winding down, make sure they know the door is open to talk at any time.
In his book “Just Walk Across the Room,” Bill Hybels encourages believers to develop the discipline of sharing a brief testimony. He suggests trying to share your story in one hundred words of less. It’s doable!
When the door is open to share a testimony, do it with clarity and boldness, but keep it brief. It could lead to questions and deeper discussion. But be careful not to launch into a fifteen-minute story that feels and sounds like a sermon.
4> HIGHLIGHT GOD’S PRESENCE AND POWER
As you tell your story, make sure God is central. A testimony in not so much about us as it is about the presence and power of the God who is alive in us. One way people will see God in this world is through His power manifested in us.
Some Christians may warn you not to tell “strange and fanciful stories” that will freak people out. I agree. But if God has moved in your life in a powerful way, don’t be shy to talk about it. Has Jesus brought you healing? Have you been delivered from an addiction or bad habit? Has the Holy Spirit given you a clear leading? All of these stories can be part of your testimony. People want to know if this God you say is real has power to move in this world. If you have seen His power, tell the story.
Testimonies are about declaring that the presence of Jesus is real. As Christians, we are not playing religion or just going to church events. We have met the living God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and Jesus is our closest friend. We can talk with confidence about how we experience the presence of God in our lives, in the hard times and in the good times.
When people hear us affirm God’s power and presence, they know we are serious about our faith. They might not agree with us, but they can’t deny our personal faith is authentic.