Speak Eagle

5 Steps to Prepare Your Testimony

So, you’ve been asked to share your personal testimony. You know, the story of how you found Jesus.  Or how He found you.  Maybe you’re going on a missions trip to the other side of the world. Maybe you’ve been asked to speak to a group of people in your hometown.

Whatever your situation, here are 5 steps to help you prepare your story:

  1. List Their Longings. Write down any longings (great need or desire) you think your audience might have. If you can, ask questions of those who know the audience members. They might know of specific longings because of the life situation of the people, like the longing for freedom or for peace. But even if you don’t have this information, you do know this- we all have universal longings, such as the desire for acceptance, for love, and for security. Consider any demographic details of your audience (age, marital status, economic status, etc.) and then, with those details in mind, write down any longings you imagine your audience might have.
  1. List Your Longings. Write down the longings you have had in your own life. Have you longed for unconditional love? contemplative womanFor freedom? For significance? For belonging? We all have threads or themes that run through our lives, highlighting our specific needs and how we have tried to get them met. Longings we have tried to fill with stuff, with substances, with people. Some have been stronger than others.  List your strongest longings.
  1. Choose One. You will probably only have a few minutes to share your story, so your next task is to choose just one longing to frame it. To do this, look at your two lists- the longings of your audience and your own longings. Is there one longing that is the same? If so, you have your theme!  That was easy. If there isn’t one that is the same, choose the thread from your story that you believe your audience might identify with most closely.
  1. Write Out Your Story. Think about this progression: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Then write down the answers to these questions:

CREATION: Was there a time when things were good? Describe it. That’s Creation.

FALL: When did things start to turn a challenging or unhealthy direction? Describe it. How did it get worse over time? Describe that escalation. Was there a point at which you hit bottom? A point of no return in which something had to change? Ah, that’s the Fall.

REDEMPTION: Now comes the good part…How dsunlight through treesid God reach in and change your life to reveal Jesus Christ as the only one who could truly fulfill your deepest longing? That’s Redemption. Describe the details around those moments for you. When was it? Where were you? What happened?

Remember, God is the hero of your story. Not your amazing powers of mental ingenuity or even your leap of faith. God and His pursuit of you. God and His relentless love for you. Paint it with words. Make the gospel clear: God desired a relationship with us, so He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for your sin and my sin by dying on the cross so that we could be forgiven, to show His unconditional love, to write our eternal security in permanent ink- His blood. And His resurrection means He is alive and living in you- a new creation!

If there is a particular Scripture verse that has been meaningful for you in your journey or if it will help you to explain the gospel, include it.

RESTORATION: And then…answer this…how does your belief in the gospel and your relationship with Christ change the way you live today? That’s Restoration. Perhaps you are learning to trust God in the midst of pain or uncertainty, learning to have integrity, learning to live in freedom from fear. Your circumstances and suffering might still very difficult, but how are you learning to walk with the Lord in the midst of it? Describe.

writing on computerINTRO AND CONCLUSION: Now, go back and write an opening sentence that will get your audience’s attention.   You can ask a question, make a strong statement, show a significant object or picture, describe a crucial moment, or even say something funny (but maybe test your humor first on a very honest friend!). Once you have written your opening statement, go to the end of your talk and write your last few sentences, encouraging your audience and lastly, connecting back to the question or statement or object you used to open your talk.

  1. Your final step is to Rehearse It. Distill your story down to 5-7 bullet points on one sheet of paper or a few notecards. You will want to make eye contact with your audience as much as possible to connect with them, so practice only referring briefly to your bullet points while simply telling your story like you would tell it to a friend.

Whether you are speaking in your hometown or on the other side of the world- God will speak through you. How do I know? Because I know your story of redemption is just a part of His great big story of redemption for His beloved children.

 

If you’re going on a missions trip, consider bringing some of my super cool T-shirts as gifts to tell kids and adults they have been permanently stamped “LOVED” by God.  Click here to see all your options.  Get a 20% discount when you purchase 20 or more for ministry purposes! Girls3711_purplerush_cropped

For additional training, watch my public speaking video, Faithful to Speak!  Click here to go to Vimeo On Demand.

 

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