”How to Give Your Testimony”
2002 Jackson Snyder, adapted from several sources
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15
THE AIM OF THE TESTIMONY
A testimony is articulating the story of Yahshua / Jesus has helped you to lead a more consecrated life. This might include the story about how you became a Christian, why you attend church where as before you didn’t or how you received a blessing or a healing. The reason for giving your testimony is either to glorify Yahshua / Messiah / Jesus Christ.
Eddie Fox and George Morris in the book Faith Sharing say that effective “witnessing” (and giving a testimony is an act of witness) consists three parts: 1. Do a good deed. 2. Tell your story. 3. Name a Name.
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help and to guide you in your presentation.
2. Usually your speech must be very short – no more than three or four minutes (unless you’re formally asked to share in a church or fellowship meeting). A ‘popcorn’ testimony is no longer than two minutes.
3. Jot down a short outline. The following outline is from Robert LaMont. It summarizes a testimony about one’s becoming a Christian.
a. Mention the instability of your life before you becoming a Christian.
b. Include a specific event that colored your decision to become a Christian (such as a prayer you may have prayed or an insight).
c. Tell about the changes in your life as a result of becoming a Christian.
d. Your testimony should “tip off” the hearer to the process of becoming a Christian.
4. You may begin with a human-interest story (your story) and finish with a thought provoking comment or question. The testimony is to make others think about receiving Yahshua / Jesus.
5. Present your material in a personal, identifiable way.
6. Name the Savior in the course of the testimony.
7. Emphasize that a Christian is someone who is not perfect, but forgiven.
THINGS NOT TO DO – These will destroy your testimony.
1. Avoid Christian jargon such as the words saved, hell, holiness. People outside the church may not know what you mean or people who have had contact with some church may have an unscriptural understanding of them.
2. Do not be vague, using phrases like, “Then God told me…” or “Then I prayed the sinners prayer.”
3. Do not exaggerate what happened. Just tell the truth.
4. Do not mention Christians or churches in a bad way. Don’t say something like, “I always had a bad experience in church before this …”
5. Do not be negative about other people, especially your audience. Don’t say things like, “You’re going to hell if you don’t …”
6. Do not imply that, now that you are a Christian or attend church, you are better than them. You are only better than one person: the person you were before.
7. Don't belittle people in the audience by saying such things as, "anybody could understand this."
ADVICE FROM “FAMILY FRIENDLY CHURCH”
Testimonies can at times be a test of our patience if they run on without clear direction. Members can be taught how to give a testimony. That is, they should be instructed to focus on one particular point and to state it clearly and concisely. Then a testimony is indeed very effective. Announce two weeks ahead of time that there will be opportunities for testimony. Encourage members to pray about it, think about it and write it down. Perhaps pastors might illustrate how they "in their sermons" must be focused, concise and brief to be effective. Encourage the testimonies to be moments of gladness that honor God for His faithfulness and care.
1. Pray before you write or speak. Memorize one of these:
Ps 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Yahweh, my strength, and my redeemer.
Ps 54:2 Hear my prayer, O Yahweh; give ear to the words of my mouth.
2. Write your testimony out in full then pick you key points.
3. Practice it in front of a mirror and with a tape recorder.
4. Know what you are going to say and what you are hoping to achieve.
5. Speak clearly with appropriate volume.
6. Do not put your hand near your mouth, mumble, turn away from the audience, chew gum or jingle keys in your pocket.
7. Remember, it is up to you to testify to the best of your ability; but it is up to the Almighty to plant the seed from it. This takes the onus off you!