Sometimes I can worry too much about how to evangelize. The Samaritan woman in John 4 taught me not to worry so much. She shared a simple testimony about what she saw and experienced, and encouraged people to meet this Man for themselves. When they did, they realized and believed that He was the Savior of the world.
1. Your story is unique. There is a specific time when you first realized your need of a Savior. Then when you heard that there was one, you repented of wrongdoings and believed. It could be a memorable day or simply a certain expanse of time in your life. Think back. When was it for you?
Your testimony may have been extreme and radical, or it might have been a calm profession of true belief. Both kinds of testimonies are relatable, because God’s love and mercy reach loud and quiet sinners alike.
2. People love to hear stories. We go to the movies, we watch television, and we read books to hear great stories. Stories can give us experiences and people to emulate. They also give us the opportunity to see from another person’s point of view.
3. It removes fear and gives courage. In speaking about what God has done in my life, I am also remembering all of God’s goodness. When I recount what He has done in the past, it gives me even more faith and courage for present living.
4. It creates transparency. The more we’re honest about mistakes we’ve made in the past, the more other people can relate to us. Hiding things keeps people at arm’s length. Sharing brings them closer into intimate and real conversations. Your story can be a key to unlock someone else’s prison.
5. It glorifies God. My testimony isn’t really about me—it’s all about God and His work in me. Sharing my testimony is sharing the Gospel because I’m sharing a story of God’s hope. A Christian testimony is focused on a Person that interrupted our selfish rebellion, a Light that helped us see the error of our ways. A testimony is not a Christian testimony unless it includes repentance and a desire to work for God and see things His way for the rest of your life. This is what glorifies God and makes Him smile.
—Jennifer Heeren, adapted