Your salvation testimony is simply your story about how you came to know Jesus. In teaching others to share their salvation testimony, lead them in considering and then writing out three parts of their story:
1. What started them thinking about giving their lives to Jesus?
Were they in church and heard a preacher? Did something happen that made them think about death or heaven? Did a friend do or say something that put these thoughts in their mind? It is amazing to hear the things that God uses to draw others to him. As a child I stopped watchingStar Trek after seeing the movie where Captain Kirk denied the existence of God. However, in college I met a young man training for ministry who came to Christ because of that same scene. As he watched it, he began to wonder, “Could there be a God?” The Lord used a Star Trekmovie to begin the process of drawing him to Christ.
2. What did they do?
3. What difference did it make?
- Stick to the point. Don’t share your life story–“I was born at a really young age…I was close to my mother when it happened. But I grew and I grew…” Get to the point. This is the story of how you can to Christ. Cut out everything else that doesn’t convey this. For example, you don’t need to say, “So I talked to my pastor. His name was Bob and I had know Bob for twelve years. We used to play softball together. We had the cool nickname for him…” What does that have to do with your salvation experience? If nothing, then don’t share it.
- Keep it brief. You should be able to share your salvation testimony in a minute or less. As you train others, time them. Help them to share as clearly and briefly as possible.
- Avoid churchy language. If someone hasn’t grown up in church, they may not understand churchy language. If you say, “I walked down the aisle” referring to go forward during a church invitation, someone who hasn’t been in church may associate it with their only experience of “walking down an aisle” which is probably the day they were married. With children I stopped using the phrase, “I asked Jesus into my heart,” because there was a child who said, “I don’t want to do that.” Why not? “Because He’s a big man and I’m just a little girl.” She was being literal. Big man + Little heart = Big mess! She didn’t understand the terminology. When I have used the term “saved,” a biblical term, I have had children ask, “What do you mean that you were ‘saved’? Did you fall in a swimming pool and someone pull you out?” Even, when I am speaking with a child, if I ask, “Have you ever sinned?” I always follow by saying, “Have you ever done anything wrong?” I started doing this after having several children told me, “No. I’ve never sinned.” Then I would ask, “Have you ever done anything wrong,” and they would immediately say, “Oh yeah.” It wasn’t that they hadn’t done wrong things; they just didn’t understand the term that I was using. As you are working on your salvation testimony, listen to it with the ears of someone who hasn’t been in church. Do you hear anything confusing?
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