Writing and sharing your Christian testimony with others is a great way to share your faith and testify to the transforming work of God in your life.
A testimony can share biblical truth and personal experience in a powerful way that exalts Christ and testifies to His saving work.
One time when I was in college, a stranger approached me and began to share his faith and his testimony. The basic gist of it was this:
I was depressed and suicidal and didn’t know where to turn. Then my friend invited me to her church and I got connected and really felt welcome. Now I’m not depressed anymore and have a great group of friends and have found truth in God.
That’s a pretty good testimony, right?
Would your answer change if I told you that this man who shared his testimony was a cult-member? It turns out he was.
The sad thing is that many testimonies I have heard from Christians do not sound very different. I don’t mean to say that there can be bad Christian testimonies. If God has redeemed you—it is a miracle of grace and is to be celebrated whether you are an ex-addict or a former church kid (like me)! What I do wish to say is that our testimonies can be shared in vague, unhelpful, and sometimes unbiblical ways.
It is not wrong to share a before-and-after story of how your life has changed like in the story above—in fact that is a good thing! But in sharing our testimonies, we must not forget Who and what makes our testimony possible: Christ and His gospel.
The goal of this post is to provide some guidance for writing a Gospel-centered and Christ-exalting testimony.
The Importance of Christ in our Testimonies
Our testimonies should point to Jesus Christ and the transforming work He has done in our lives–not merely positive changes we have experienced. Only talking about positive changes with a token “God” mention here or there might make people think the point of Christianity is to have a better life instead of following Christ and being reconciled to God.
We need to mention what Christ has done for us, specifically what He did on the cross. Paul models this type of Christ-centered attitude when he writes to the Corinthians, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul knew that Christ’s work on the cross was of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:3).
If we fail to mention what Christ has done, we rob the glory due to Christ and make Christianity seem like something we can do ourselves. People may then equate Jesus with a self-help guru, the Buddha, or the Oxy-Clean guy—three people that can generate testimonies, but can’t save you from your sins or help you walk in newness of life.
Jesus should be the hero of every testimony.
The more clear we can be about Who He is and what He has done, the more impact our testimonies will have, and the more glory will go to Christ.
7 tips for writing and sharing your Christian testimony:
1. Follow the storyline of your life:
- Before coming to Christ
- When and how you came to Christ
- After coming to faith in Christ
2. During your story, let listeners know what you learned about Jesus:
- Who Jesus is
- What He accomplished on the cross
- What He offers us
- What He calls us to do (believe and repent)
3. Share key Bible verses. This is helpful to shows people you submit to Scripture and it also unleashes the power of God’s Word which will always accomplish what it purposes (Isaiah 55:11). A helpful portion of Scripture that you can interweave into your testimony is Ephesians 2:1-10 because it covers important gospel truths like sin, the wrath of God, faith in Christ, and the grace of God.
4. Use words everyone can understand. Propitiation, justification, and only-begotten may be fine words for a Bible study or theological textbook, but may sound like Christianese to someone not familiar with Christian lingo. Keep your vocabulary simple and easy to grasp.
5. Be ready to share your testimony concisely. Sometimes our window of opportunity to share is up in two minutes—be ready for any and every situation!
6. Practice sharing your story in a compelling fashion. Describe how you felt during specific times and give people details of the who, what, and where of important parts of your story so they can visualize it. Sharing about the grace of God through Jesus Christ in your life should be the most exciting thing you can tell people about—act like it!
7. Be ready with good follow up questions. “What do you think?” “Have you ever thought about your sins before?” “Does God’s judgment scare you?” “Do you realize Jesus can forgive you of your sins too?”
May God open many doors for you to share how His grace has impacted your life!