Tips for Writing Your Personal Testimony

Mark Sohmer – Missionary, Open Air Campaigners
http://Luke-15.orgmark@Luke-15.org

What Is a Personal Testimony?

    Your testimony is how God saved you.

    It is a VERY POWERFUL witness to the Lost and it’s very non-threatening because it’s your personal story.

    Nobody can legitimately argue with you that it’s not true.

    After all, you’re the one who lived it.

What If I Don’t Have a Personal Testimony?

    If you have been adopted into God’s family through faith in Christ, then you do have a Personal Testimony!

What If I Don’t Have a GOOD Personal Testimony?

    A lot of Christians mistakenly think they don’t have a “good” testimony, or an “interesting,” or an “exciting” one.

    We get energized when we hear of God saving someone from a life of drugs, or prostitution, or the occult. It’s exciting to hear those stories, but the reality is that every testimony is exciting! The Bible says “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

    A GREAT testimony is when God makes you aware that you’ve sinned against Him, and you learned that He provided the only possible Savior, Jesus Christ! EVERYBODY who is saved has a GREAT testimony!

    Some people think I have an “exciting” testimony because I came from another religion and was hostile to Jesus. But you know what would be a better testimony than mine? One that goes like this…

    “By the blessings of God, I was born into a Christian family that loves Jesus and loves the Bible. Even though I never got into any BIG sins, I still had big sins in my heart.

    God sees lust as adultery. I’ve done that. God sees hatred as murder. I’ve done that.

    Thanks to Jesus and His work on the cross, I could be forgiven, and so can you…”

    This testimony will resonate with a lot of non-Christians! Every testimony is exciting when Jesus is the center of your testimony!!!

Is a Testimony Biblical?

    Yes, there are a number of Biblical examples of people sharing their personal encounter with Jesus for the purpose of evangelizing the Lost. A few are: The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:28-30,39). A blind man (John 9:1-30). Lazarus raised from the dead (John 12:9-11). Timothy’s testimony, that Paul shares (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15). The Apostle Paul’s testimony (Acts, chapter 26).

How Do I Get Started?

    Pray.

    What you’re doing is much more important than you think.

    Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you, and He will because He promised He would!

    Regarding evangelism, Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

    Jesus also promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

    Then write. Don’t try to make it “perfect” in your first draft. You or someone else can always edit your testimony for better grammar, spelling, flow of ideas, etc.

What Do I Include?

    We don’t want to lose our audience by writing a lot of confusing and unnecessary details.

    The purpose of your testimony is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16).

    Keep that purpose in mind when writing!

    Your testimony must contain:

    BEFORE Faith in Christ:

    • you were unsaved
    • you were not a child of God
    • you had broken God’s laws (even name them)
    • you were heading to the Lake of Fire

    HOW You Came to Faith:

    • You admit that you are a sinner and you deserve God’s judgment.
    • Jesus is God and never sinned.
    • Jesus died on the cross and rose again!
    • Jesus is the only way to God.
    • you learned about this somehow (a friend told you? a parent? a teacher? a book/tract/movie?)
    • you turned from your sin and trusted Jesus to save you (Mark 1:15)
    • you became a new creation

    SINCE Faith in Christ:

    • your life changed
    • God is making you more like Him.

    Sometimes our lives change for the worse when we become a child of God (think of the Persecuted Church). Don’t be afraid to write about how things may have gotten harder for you. That’s all part of your testimony!

What A Testimony Isn’t:

    A testimony is not “How You Came to Church,” or “How Your Marriage Got Better” or “How I Came to Be Filled with Peace” or “How I Got Off Drugs.”

    Your testimony might contain these things, but the purpose of a testimony is to share how you went from being an enemy of God heading to judgment to becoming an adopted child of God headed to Heaven because of Jesus Christ’s victory on the cross and His resurection from the dead – working itself out through your faith and repentance.

    A rule of thumb: If Jesus is the center of your testimony, you’re probably on the right track!

How Long Should My Testimony Be?

    As long as it needs to be. My written testimony is nearly 2,000 words, but that’s on the long side. The reality is that the longer it is, the more likely our audience won’t read it. So I’m also prepared to shorten my testimony significantly and share my story in 3-5 minutes. I suggest you be prepared to do that too. It would be ideal if your testimony could be read in under 10 minutes.

Suggested Scripture to Quote:

    God’s Word is much more powerful and effective at reaching hearts than anything we can say. So it is great if you include Scripture and lots of it. Some suggested Scriptures (of course there are many more than these):

    Psalm 32:1, Romans 3:10-12, 1 John 3:15, Matthew 5:27-28, Revelation 21:8, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Hebrews 9:27, John 3:3, Acts 17:30-31, Proverbs 11:4, Mark 8:36-37, Acts 3:19, Luke 13:3,5, Mark 12:30, John 1:12, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, Hebrews 11:6, Acts 4:12, Romans 6:23, Mark 1:15, Romans 10:13, Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 5:11-12, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, John 11:25-26, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

You’ve Done It Right If…

    Another rule of thumb: If, after reading your testimony, your reader knows that their problem is sin, and the solution is Jesus, then you’ve probably done it right!

I’d Like To Help!

    If you would like to read a copy of my written testimony as an example, please feel free to visit http://mystory.Luke-15.org. And please contact me if I can be a help! You can reach me at http://Luke-15.org!

    May God use you and me to reach the Lost wherever we are, because the Lost are wherever we are.

    P.S. If you want your testimony professionally made into a beautiful gospel tract, contact http://TractPlanet.com.

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