3 Simple steps to develop your testimony
Let's face it. Sometimes one of the biggest fears we face on a mission trip is sharing our testimony. I have never really figured out what it is that makes our stomachs turn when we think about it; perhaps it's the fear of being rejected, fear of sounding crazy, or maybe just the feeling of not being prepared. If we are honest, this can even become a barrier as we decide whether or not to go on a mission trip.
What is a testimony?
Your testimony is simply the story of your encounter with God and what role He has played throughout your life.
Here are 3 steps to help you develop your story and prepare you to share your testimony with others. You may find that writing it out will help process your thoughts.
1) Describe your life briefly before you met God.
This is not a, "let's share all of our deepest sins" story. It's simply a brief description of who you were and what path you were on before you encountered God. This is to provide a picture to your audience to be used as a comparison.
2) Describe your encounter with God.
How did you hear the gospel? What was it about the gospel story that opened your eyes or grabbed your attention? Why did you decide to surrender your life? Sharing these types of details are specific to you. This is also where you get to incorporate sharing the death and resurrection of Christ and our place in heaven (the heart of the gospel).
3) Describe your life after surrendering to God.
This is my favorite part! It's here that you bring everything full circle. Describe how God is a part of your everyday life, the constant peace of His leading, and any other specifics you feel led to share about how He is intentionally working in your life. This is also the other part of the comparison (the before and after effect).
This is not an end-all be-all to develop your testimony. These 3 steps are simply a starting point. I learned these steps several years ago, and it has always been my guide as I constantly develop my personal testimony.
Being prepared and comfortable with verbalizing your story will help keep your heart and mind open to the Holy Spirit's nudge to share. Finally, always remember that prayer is the most important thing when you feel led to share your testimony. It is, of course, the Holy Spirit that initiates the heart change in someone, not necessarily anything "we" say.
Written by CJ & Teri