Sermon Illustrations

Sermon Illustrations > Testimony > Preparing Your Personal Testimony
Preparing Your Personal Testimony

Darrell W. Robinson, People Sharing Jesus, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), pp. 203-207

You may use one of two types of personal testimonies: A salvation testimony is the story of how you became a Christian. A recovery testimony is the story of how Jesus helped you at a point of need in your life.

Successful, powerful salvation and recovery testimonies have several elements that you'll want to incorporate: My Salvation Testimony

1. My life before receiving Christ

2. How I received Jesus Christ

3. How Jesus Christ makes my life meaningful My Recovery Testimony

1. My life seemed fairly normal until . . .

2. I discovered hope and help in Jesus when . . .

3. I am glad I have a personal relationship with Jesus today because . . .

Once you've shared your testimony, you can ask, "May I share with you how something like this can happen to you?"

Give adequate and precise details showing how Christ became Savior and Lord of your life. Tell about yourself. Humor and human interest are keys. Most of us find that human interest is easier to achieve than humor. The average unbeliever thinks a Christian comes from another world or is strange and unusual. Be sure not to leave the impression that walking down an aisle, joining a church, or being baptized is what made you a Christian! Turning from your sins to Christ and placing your faith in Him is what did it. As important as these acts of obedience to Christ are, they did not provide forgiveness and eternal life and will not do so for anyone else!

Be sure that in your testimony you clearly show the person how to receive the gift of salvation.

Use language that the non-Christian can understand (1 Cor. 14:9). Avoid churchy, religious, theological terms. You understand them, but the other person may not. Such terms as "walked the aisle," "took the preacher's hand," "justified," "convicted," and "redeemed" may be meaningless or even misleading.

When useful, relate your testimony to Bible verses. Your experience will illustrate the Bible truth.

Bring your testimony up-to-date by sharing what Jesus means to you today.

Make your testimony brief&md;no longer than a minute and a half.

In Ian Fleming's From Russia with Love, James Bond's friend captures the enemy. He ties the villain up in a chair to hold him for a few hours while Bond rescues the leading lady. Bond's friend settles in for a bit of mischievous "torture" by saying, "I have led a fascinating life. Let me tell you all about it."

It is not realistic to assume that the person you are witnessing to will want to hear everything about your life. It may be that they need to tell you their own story. Prepare your testimony so that you can share it in about a minute and a half. Get to the point quickly, realizing that the attention span of the listener may be brief.