Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Sharing Your Story #2

The following are guidelines to remember when compiling your salvation story to share with others.

  1.  Make the testimony sound like natural conversation.  We are preparing this testimony to be shared in a private conversation.  Avoid words or phrases that sound literary that you would not normally use in everyday conversation.  Use informal, every day vocabulary.
  1.  Use the words “I” and “me,” not “you.”  This will make your testimony sound personal and not preachy.  People enjoy listening to first person stories.
  1.  Avoid theological words which may not be generally known or which may illicit an emotional reaction and detract from your main objective.  Use words that are easily understood by most people.
  1.  Try and make your testimony as general as possible so that many people can identify with it.  It is usually best to avoid naming churches, denominations or groups.
  1.  Add humor or human interest points in order to attract your listener’s attention.  If you smile and project a relaxed manner, it will put your listener at ease.
  1.  Share one or two specific word stories to involve your listener in your story.  Don’t say, “I was raised in a large city,”  rather, share a short experience that illustrates life in a big city.
  1.  In the “Before” section be sure to include both positive and negative things about your life before you accepted Christ.  Don’t be hesitant to share non-spiritual matters as well, as this will add interest.
  1.  In the “How” section be sure to make the bible the final authority.  A poor example would be, “Mary said that I needed forgiveness.”  A better example would be, “Mary shared with me that the bible says we all need forgiveness.”
  1.  Remember to share the four points of the gospel in the “How” section.
  1.  In the “After” section, close with two or three benefits that you have experienced since you accepted Christ.
  • Consider that the last benefit could be something like this, “But the greatest benefit of all is that I now know that I have eternal life.”  Your listener will often comment on the last thing mentioned in our testimony.  If our last statement is about eternal life, it may open an opportunity to further explain the gospel.
  1.  Simplify and reduce unnecessary details.  Though the details may have meaning for you, your listener will be distracted and bored if you share too many details.  A poor example would be, “On June 3, 1985 I was going to the third meeting of the week at the First Community Church with Ken, Bill and Jack.”  A better example would be, “Several years ago I went to a church meeting with some close friends.”

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