A personal faith story, or testimony, is an account of God’s work in your life. Everybody who has trusted Christ has a unique, interesting, and powerful story regardless of what you may feel or think. The skeptic may deny your doctrine, but he cannot ignore the fact your life has been changed. He may stop his ears to the presentations of a preacher, but he’s somehow attracted to the human-interest story of how you found peace within. On six separate occasions between Paul’s third missionary journey and his trip to Rome he stood before different audiences and presented Christ to them (Acts 22-26). Six times he stood alone. Six times he addressed unbelievers, many of them hostile and rude. Do you know the method Paul used each time? Sharing his personal faith story. No persuasive technique will ever take the place of your personal story. I challenge you to give serious consideration to thinking through, and then writing out, the way God made you a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Bible says, “Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).
As you write your story please consider these suggestions:
You want to be listened to, so be interesting. It’s a contradiction to talk about how exciting Christ is in an uninteresting way. Work on your wording, your flow of thought and your main points. Guard against using religious clichés and hard to understand terminology which can be confusing. You want to be understood, so be clear. I suggest you think of your spiritual journey in three phases and write your story with that in mind.
1) Before you trusted Christ; the loneliness, lack of peace, unrest and fears.
2) How you made the decision that changed you, and
3) The difference Christ has made in your life
You want the moment of your new birth to be clear; so be specific. Don’t be vague or unclear how you became a Christian. Highlight the decision you made, or the process that led you to trust Christ. Be simple and direct. Emphasize what you believed more than what you felt. Jesus should be the “Hero” of your story. You want your story to be remembered, so be authentic. Be honest as you talk. Don’t promise all your problems will end if you become a Christian. Try to think as an unbeliever would think. You want to point them to Christ and arouse their interest to hear more.
Tips For Preparing Your Personal Story
You may find the guidelines below helpful as you prepare your story:
- Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and guidance as you write. Ask for His help to communicate clearly and simply.
- Stay within a 3-5 minute time frame. This enables you to be concise.
- Be realistic. Don’t imply that Christ removes all of life’s problems. He does enable you to live through them as you trust and obey Him.
- Don’t make statements that reflect negatively on a church, other organizations, or people.
- Avoid using phrases like “born again,” or “accepted Christ,” without clarifying what you mean.
- Your story should be comprised of three parts:
Your life before Christ
- Did you have any kind of religious background?
- What were your attitudes, needs, and beliefs?
- What were you doing to find peace of mind and happiness?
How you received Christ
- What were the circumstances that caused you to trust in Christ?
- What barriers did you experience? (Example: Why should I want to let someone else run my life?) Share how those barriers were removed
- Were you by yourself or with someone else when you trust Christ?
After you received Christ
- What changes did you see in your life, actions, attitudes, and problems?
- What does Christ mean to you now?
NOTE: The sequence of questions may be used if you accepted Christ at an early age and then yielded control of your life at a later time.
Let us know if you would like to share your story!