If you’re a new believer, you may be surprised to see legal terms used in the Bible and church. Maybe you have questions wondering what is a “testimony”? Why are we called “witnesses”? How to share your testimony? If so, you’re not alone.
These are important questions, so don’t be shy about asking them. Let’s define testimony, give examples of how to share your testimony, and an easy approach so you can be a witness of God’s love to the world.
Your God Story
Your testimony—your story— is not only what you say but also how you live reflecting your real relationship with Jesus. Just as a testimony in a court of law is public, your testimony tells others about Jesus. It is a way to share the gospel by giving evidence of how God has worked in your life. It does not have to be dramatic; it just has to be yours.
Paul’s Testimony Before King Agrippa
When the apostle Paul stood on trial before King Agrippa (Acts 26), he shared his God’s story. He started by providing a snapshot of his life as a devout Jew persecuting believers before he met Jesus. Paul shared his encounter with Jesus and how that became a turning point in his life, which changed his priorities, preaching, and purpose. To put it another way, Paul shared his life before Jesus, when he met Jesus, and his life after he met Jesus.
Before Jesus, Paul testifies in his own words:
Paul shares his encounter with Jesus:
Paul explains the result:
We Can Do the Same
Whether we’re having coffee with a friend, helping a neighbor, or interacting with a stranger at the store, we can be ready with an answer to explain the new life we have in Jesus.
We may not have had a spectacular encounter with Jesus as Paul did. But we can share our life before Jesus, how we encountered Jesus, and how that changed our life. Our testimony is powerful, no matter how ordinary we may think it may be. You could simply explain how you learned about Jesus’ love and wanted to love Him back, and that’s made all the difference.
It’s your story, and no one can argue with it.
You know Jesus is real.
You know how Jesus has changed your life forever.
But there are times where we do not have a lot of time to explain our story. Maybe you’re in public, and the Holy Spirit prompts you to start a spiritual conversation. How can you share your story quickly? How to share your testimony in a way that engages others?
How to Share Your Testimony in 15 Seconds
We first learned this approach by our fellow disciple-making ministry partners at #NoPlaceLeft. They use this technique effectively around the world. It’s easy, and anyone who has experienced new life in Christ (new birth—John 3:3) can grasp this approach. We’ve made a few changes, but it’s as simple as 1-2-3.
Step 1: Describe your life in two words / phrases before following Jesus.
Step 2: Describe your life in two words/phrases afterward.
Step 3: Drop those words, in a casual conversational way, into the following testimony:
There was a time in my life when I was __________ and ______________.
Then I was forgiven by Jesus and chose to follow him. My life changed.
Now, I am ______________ and ___________. Best of all, I have a friendship with God.
Do you have a story like that?
For example, I would describe my life before Jesus as selfish and meaningless. The country I live in emphasizes independence and accomplishments. My life focused on school as a youth and career as an adult. But my success in my career led to the discovery of a meaningless life without Jesus. When I trusted Jesus for my everyday life, I found purpose in life and joy in serving others. Here is how I would share my 15-second story:
Before Jesus: “There was a time in my life when I was selfish and life felt meaningless.”
Receive Jesus: “Then I was forgiven by Jesus and chose to follow Him.”
Life with Jesus: “My life changed. Now, I find joy in serving others and have purpose in my life.”
Engage listener: “Best of all, I have a friendship with God. Do you have a story like that?”
We love how this testimony approach shows how God worked in our life and asks the listener for a response. Quick and easy. Naturally, if they want to learn more, you can share as the Holy Spirit leads.
Your Turn—Try to Share Your Testimony
In just a few minutes, you can craft your testimony and be ready to share it. I challenge you right now to take a few moments to download the printable tool to write out your God story. Then say it a few times until you’ve memorized it. Next, share it with friends and family. Ask them to do the same. This is a great family meeting activity. Finally, and most importantly, pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you to share it with those in your life far from God or in your community searching for God.
In Revelation 12:11, we learn how believers triumphed over Satan: “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Your testimony is not only a compelling invitation for others to discover Jesus but also a powerful tool to defeat the enemy. Now that’s an excellent way to use 15 seconds.