Telling your Story
If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, you have a testimony to share. Every Christian has a story – a story of God’s love, of forgiveness, of life change, and of hope. Simply knowing your story and telling it to others is a great way to share the gospel and to lead people to discover new life in Jesus.
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to share how Jesus has changed your life. But it certainly helps to think through and put words to your story so you are ready and able to share it with those who don’t yet know Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 says, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (NIV)
There are basically four parts to each of our stories. You will see them listed below. You can include scriptures with your story, but it is best not to quote bible references with people who, at this point, don’t believe the bible. God’s word is still powerful and effective even when you simply include the truth in a conversational way. Scripture references are listed here to help you with that conversation should you wish to include them in the telling of your story.
With some practice, you should be able to tell your story – your testimony – in five minutes or less. So, you don’t want to put too much emphasis on the dismal details of your past. Instead, emphasize the change that has happened in your life since you came to Christ.
1. Tell who you were.
Of course you can’t tell all of who you were before coming to Christ, but you can highlight one area where you struggled, endured hopelessness, experienced hurt, had anger issues or simply felt empty on the inside. It’s your story – what was missing or painful in your life that drew you to look to Jesus Christ for help?
Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:1-2
2. What caused you to look to God?
It may be that you “hit bottom,” and then cried out to God for help. Or maybe you saw something in a friend or family member that appealed to you – a quality of life you wanted for yourself. Was it a question of the meaning of life that caused you to look to God? Something drew you to look to God for answers and to come to Jesus for forgiveness. What was that something?
John 16:8; 2 Peter 3:9
3. How did you surrender to Christ?
This part can seem very mysterious to people, but it doesn’t have to be. So be very simple and specific here. Were you in a church building, in a car, kneeling at your bed? Again, this is your story and it should be real and personal. Tell about how someone led you in a prayer or how you repeated a prayer that you read somewhere. What did you pray? How did you ask Jesus into your life?
John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 1:9
4. What has changed?
This is where you say how Jesus has made a difference in your life. Referring back to the first part about who you were, you can now say how Jesus has brought healing, hope, love, or purpose. It is important to communicate that coming to Christ is more than just a religious is experience. He brings real change. He really does transform our lives. Becoming a child of God is about a whole new life – a forever life. So, say how your life has changed. What is it that is different about you now that you are a follower of Jesus Christ?
John 1:12, Romans 8:15-16,
Finally, ask the person with whom you are sharing if they would like to receive Jesus like you did? They can do it now, and you can lead them in a prayer much like the one you prayed when you came to Christ. Try this: “Jesus Christ, please come into my life. I am sorry for trying to live without you. Forgive me for the things I have said and done. I receive you as the One who forgives me and heals my life. I choose to follow you and obey you. Thank you. Amen.”
If you said “YES” to question #20, then here is a suggested action plan for what to do next:
- Write the name down of someone you would like to see come to know Jesus.
- Begin praying for that person everyday.
- Introduce yourself and/or begin building a friendship with that person.
- Ask God to reveal a need in their life to you that He wants to address.
- Raise the flag – as God reveals a need, ask the person if you can pray for them about that need.
- Serve them – meet their need if you can. By serving, you earn the right to be heard.
- Share – pray for an opportunity to share your testimony and/or share the good news with them. Or, you can invite them to Serve INC, to church, or to an event where the gospel is presented.