This month the Christian Writers are sharing thoughts about the theme “nurture” in honor of Mother’s Day. Please click on their links to the right on the appropriate days.
I’ve chosen to write today about evangelism—in order to encourage and nurture other believers in their ability to evangelize and to encourage and nurture people to accept Christ as a result. If you missed my previous post about evangelism, you can go here to read it.
Remember Jesus’ Great Commission?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
It means that although people’s salvation is up to Jesus, he still wants me to share my testimony with other people. Jesus wants me to share what he means to me—to hold a microphone up to people’s hearts so they can hear Jesus knocking.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20)
But what is my testimony? How do I make one?
I like to write things out. It makes it easy to change, rearrange and improve them. It lets me read and reread so I can feel comfortable saying my testimony out loud.
Creating a testimony also solidifies in my mind and in my heart what God has done for me. It’s not only a testimony to others; it’s also a testimony to myself of how Jesus has been at work—and still is.
You might consider writing up your own testimony. Keep it simple. Keep it personal. Skip the theology. Don’t worry about quoting scripture or spouting church doctrine. Just talk about Jesus. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Talk about what your life was like—what you were like—before you knew Jesus.
What was your main problem? What was your attitude toward others? What types of things did you do? And how did that make you feel? How did others react to you? How did you try to live life on your own strength? What were you trying to do? What wasn’t working right? What was causing you trouble, friction or pain?
Try to focus on your emotions in order to empower your testimony. If you can, relive those emotions and share them. Were you angry? Hopeless? Empty? Insecure? Unloved?
2. Then share how you came to learn about Jesus.
Was there a specific point in time or specific circumstances that pointed you to Christ? Or was it a long journey? Share it.
Was there a specific person who led you to Christ? Or a specific person who caused you to need to search for Christ? What were you going through at the time?
3. Then share how knowing Jesus has changed things.
How has it changed you? How has it changed your attitude, your thoughts, your outlook, your relationships? How has being forgiven made you feel? What does it mean to have a relationship with Jesus? What is Jesus doing in your life now? How is he changing you?
Focus on the emotions you feel now: hopeful, secure, loved, compassionate, encouraged.
4. Keep it real—your emotions, your language and your attitude.
Avoid words that unbelievers might not understand. Instead use words and phrases that are clear:
Instead of “saved,” say: knowing Jesus has given me hope of how to live a better way
Instead of “reborn,” say: Jesus has renewed my spirit
Instead of “Gospel,” say: good news that Jesus came to show us God’s love
Instead of “sin,” say: disobedience to how God wants us to live
If you’ve ever had to look up a Christian-ese word in a dictionary—don’t use it in your testimony. You’re not trying to impress people with your big words. You’re trying to impress them with your big God.
Get started! Then share it with us—and the world.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you have done so much for us; have made such a difference in our lives; have saved our eternal lives! Show us ways; give us the words to share your love with the world. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you written your testimony?
This post was revised from an article I wrote for www.WeUsed2BU.com.