How to share your salvation story
I would love to give you some pointers on you how to share, your salvation story.
I am going to tell you why you should tell your story, essential things to remember when you share it and finally what to say when you testify.
Let’s start with why you should tell your salvation story:
Did you know, the Bible is 75% narrative?! It is a book that tells stories of real people in real places, facing real problems and how God intervened in their lives. And for some reason, this is one of the ways God chooses to reveal Himself to the world – through people’s stories.
You have a story too and the apostle Paul writes in 2 Cor. 3 that your life is like a letter, read by people, everywhere you go. Because you are also a real person in a real place and also face real problems in which God intervenes. And when you share your testimony, you disarm the kingdom of darkness.
Now, here are some essential things to remember when you prepare your testimony:
First of all, I want to stress that it is imperative to prepare. If you were asked to represent your company to a prospective client, you would surely take some time to put together a proper sales presentation. When the apostle Paul tells us that we are ambassadors of Christ, then surely we should take representing Him seriously.
In preparing, just take some time to pray and write out your testimony, with either point form references or in essay style. In presenting it, you would naturally not recite it word for word, but it’s a helpful framework. I once made a photo presentation of the different parts of my testimony as a visual illustration of what God did in my life, which is another idea for preparing.
After you wrote your story, you can practice it with saved family members; within your church community group and then move on to your friends and other people who don’t know the Lord. Let them give you feedback and make improvements based on their feedback. For, e.g. be mindful of not using churchy language, like: “I have been bloodwashed by the lamb.”
Your end game is to boast about Jesus Christ who did something for you that no one else can do for you, and you could also not do for yourself. As John Newton who wrote the song “Amazing Grace” put it: “I’m was a great sinner, and Christ is a great Saviour”.
So what should you say when you testify?
Your testimony is a three-part story where you take your audience on a journey from your BC (before Christ) days – in the valley of darkness; to the summit of how you came to Christ; and then finally how your life in the light on the mountaintop, is different as a result of salvation. In the valley of darkness part, highlight one or two aspects of specific sin or shame you had in your life, emphasising how lost you were or the chains that held you down.
These can be a public sin, such as addictions or a reputation you had; or private sins, such as pride, emotional baggage or sinful thought patterns. Be sure not to brag about past sin or to go into too many gory details. Just the headlines will do.
Then you move into what prompted you to climb the mountain – to turn to Christ. Here you can mention specific people who influenced you, an event where you encountered Christ, or the period of time when He became real to you. The emphasis is to point out that you encountered Christ’s love and forgiveness – as a response to your repentance.
Finally, the climax of your testimony is your life, in the light, on the mountain top. This is the part where you share about your victory over your past, as a born-again believer – who is now, no longer a slave to sin, but under the Lordship of Jesus.
You can mention things like how you started thinking differently, the new people who came into your life, how your circumstances changed, what different places you saw as a result of your salvation, or if relationships got restored, and so on.
Basically, anything that changed: spiritually, physically, mentally, relationally or financially.
Depending on who you speak to, you can focus on different parts of your story to make it more relatable. Also have different versions of your story: like a summary-version, a five-minute version and a full-story version.
An example of a summary version is when a man recently told my father-in-law: “I’m 73 this year, but tonight I celebrate my 31st birthday. 31 years ago my children sat me down in the living room, laid hands on me and prayed for me. I was a chain smoker and an outright alcoholic. But since that day, I never again picked up a cigarette or drank a drop of alcohol.
It’s dangerous when your kids pray for you!”This is obviously a testimony of radical transformation from public sin to moral sanity. But a person who was under the yoke of extreme judgmentalism or self-pity and got saved from that has a story just as powerful!
There is no such thing as a weak testimony – only testimonies with a lack of joy in the eternal work of redemption Christ has done. Share yours with boldness, passion and sincerity – then you can expect your audience to be impacted radically.
Now you know why you should tell your story, essential things to remember when you share it and what to say when you testify.