WHAT IS A PERSONAL TESTIMONY?
A personal testimony is a prepared version of your coming to faith in Christ. It is designed to communicate – in a specific period of time (usually about 3 minutes) – what attracted a person to Christ, how that individual received Him, and the difference He has made in his/her life. A well-done personal testimony can be a powerful and effective tool in communicating the life changing reality of Jesus Christ. The dictionary defines testimony as “the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court.” Another definition says “evidence in support of a fact or statement of proof.” When you give your testi- mony, you are giving witness of the difference Christ has made in your life.
Tips for Preparing Your Testimony
DON’T start with something like, “So…this is my testimony…” or end with something like, “And, that’s my testimony…”
DO have a clear, well prepared beginning and end.
DO have a theme that ties your story together. For example, “My life is a lot like the movie Braveheart…” or “I’ve always thought that a football game is a great illustration of some of the things that have happened in my life…”
DON’T use words that aren’t clear to non-Christians (Christianese). DO clarify terms like “saved,” “sin,” “Christian home,” etc.
DON’T name specific denominations or religions (especially in a negative way). This could offend someone who is of that denomination and prevent them from listening to your story.
DON’T ramble on forever.
DO keep it to around 3 minutes!
DON’T use vague terms like “peaceful,” “joyful,” or “happy.”
DO give details and include specific stories to clarify those adjectives.
DON’T give the false impression that Jesus makes all of life’s problems go away.
DO include a verse or short portion of Scripture that relates to your theme. DON’T use more than two Scripture passages. Keep it focused on how Christ changed your life.
DO be realistic – life is still hard, but a relationship with God is the key to living it.
DO communicate as clearly and truthfully as possible how you became a Christian. By the conclusion of your testimony, listeners should understand how they could also receive Christ. Make it very clear how a person receives Christ; share the words you used when you accepted Him.
Preparing Your Personal Testimony
- Memorize and practice your testimony orally. After editing and rewriting your testimony, you should memorize it. Memorization frees you to be natural and communicate clearly, rather than focusing on your next word. Practice giving your testimony to a small group or friend.
- Present your testimony to an audience.
- Evaluate your testimony with your Cru High School leader.
The testimony worksheet can be uses as a guide to help you think through and write down your Testimony story. Keep the following things in mind: Don’t be concerned if your testimony is not filled with bank robberies, murders, or drug selling. You are seeking to relate to your audience. Hopefully not many of their lives are filled with those things either. Choose a theme you think people will relate to, but it does not need to be sensational and dramatic.
If you became a Christian at an early age, share how Christ has led you over a period of years, or how you came to the point of surrendering your life totally to Christ.