Our personal salvation story is designed to be shared with a non-believer. Our testimony will have its most impact if shared naturally during a personal conversation or in a small group. It can be used as a “door opener” in order to turn the attention of your listener towards spiritual matters and create an opportunity to share the gospel in a more complete way. Successful evangelism begins with a well-prepared testimony.
When sharing our testimony we want to explain what Christ has done in our lives, not preach at our listener. Everyone who has trusted Christ as their personal Savior has a testimony about how God has touched their life. Certainly this testimony is different for each person; we are not seeking to have our listener imitate our personal experience, rather we want them to personally trust Christ as their Savior.
Your testimony may be dramatic, especially if you trusted Christ as an adult, or it may not be so spectacular, if you trusted Christ as a child. But, spectacular or not, God can use your testimony to touch the hearts of others. A disciple of Jesus must be able to tell others how they came to know Christ.
OUTLINE FOR A SALVATION TESTIMONY
PART 1 Before I Trusted Christ
A brief background sketch of what your life was like before you trusted Christ (i.e. family, old way of life). During this section you may want to share one or two specific instances that would illustrate what your life was like without Christ. If you share some sinful experience, do not give a lot of details as this can disturb your listener’s concentration and detract from your main point.
PART 2 How I Trusted Christ
Specifically share how you came to know Christ as your personal Savior (i.e. when, where). Create a word picture that will attract your listener’s attention.
In this section you must remember to distinctly share the four parts of the gospel as follows:
- all people have sinned;
- all people will be punished with death because of their sin;
- because God loves us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sin – accepting our punishment;
- we must each personally acknowledge that we are sinners and place our trust in Jesus as our Savior.
PART 3 After I Trusted Christ
Explain briefly what changes you have seen in your life since you accepted Christ as your Savior (i.e. deep peace because our sins are forgiven, the reality of the new life, assurance of salvation based on the promises of God).
Your objective is to be able share this three-part testimony in approximately four minutes. If we examine the testimony of Paul as shared in Acts 24 and Acts 26 we find that it was about this length of time. We can also see that Paul’s testimony easily divides into the three parts listed above, which we use as our model testimony.