Each Christian has a personal story of how he/she came to know Jesus in a personal, life-changing way.
You can use your personal testimony to spread the Gospel of Christ in personal evangelism.
Make sure you avoid the cheesy clichés – be authentic.
1. Use Your Testimony.
You have both current stories of God’s work in your life, as well as your conversion story.
Even if you had a less-than-dramatic experience in becoming a Christian, it is still important.
You can talk about how the Lord is changing your life on a daily basis.
Tell how He is helping you raise your children or do your job. This is particularly helpful if you sense a similar need in your friend.
You might want to think in terms of transformational stories, rather than testimony. Testimony may have been confined only to the conversion experience. But we can talk of God’s current work in transforming our life today.
2. Your Story Has Power.
First, your conversion story is personal. You don’t have to memorize Bible verses or worry about repeating them correctly.
Second, it is conversational. It’s not a sermon. It can be shared over a cup of coffee or after a round of golf.
Third, no one can dispute it. If you have joy, peace, and love in your life as a result of knowing Christ, that will be evident.
Fourth, it is interesting. It’s natural for friends to want to know more about each other.
Even if your friend is antagonistic to the Gospel, he/she may still be interested in why you value your relationship with a man named Jesus.
3. Plan Your Testimony.
You can use Paul’s testimony in Acts 26 as your outline.
(1) Tell about your life before Christ.
You don’t need to go into embarrassing detail, but you do need to be frank enough about your story so that those who hear it can compare the you back then with the you right now.
(2) Describe the conversion experience that you had.
Be honest and genuine and provide the relevant details. After all, this is when you receive the gift of eternal life.
(3) Explain what your life is like now.
What have you stopped doing, or started doing as a result of your new life?
If you need help developing your testimony, start with this Personal Evangelism Testimony Questionnaire
4. Point People to Jesus.
This is your story, but it has meaning only because Jesus is part of it. The purpose of your story is so that the other person will come to Christ.
The key question to keep in mind:
Where is Jesus in this story? Where is the activity of God?
5. Clearly Explain the Gospel Message.
Take pains to explain the Gospel clearly and simply.
Perhaps use one of the gospel scripts.
Make sure you know how to use a gospel script.
It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of reliving your life-changing story, but the real story is the Gospel.
But be sensitive to the moment and discern if the Holy Spirit is opening the doors for this.
6. Share Several Key Scripture Verses.
You’ll probably want to share John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; and John 1:12.
Add any favorite verses you may have.
Most gospel scripts have a string of verses that support their story.
7. Avoid Abstract Christian Terms.
As a test, define the following terms as simply as you can, so your non-Christian friends understand them: saved, born again, sin, faith, repentance, receive Christ, lost, eternal life.
See my use of Christianese: What is a prayer burden?
8. Explain How you Received Christ.
Share enough detail so the other person will know what to do if he/she has the desire to know Christ. Often, not knowing the logistics of receiving Christ keeps people from doing what their hearts long for.
For example, my friend last week asked me, How do I start following Christ? He wanted to know how to pray, and how to receive that gift. He actually asked me to help him pray.
Adapted from Sharing Christ When You Feel You Can’t by Daniel Owens. Order your copy from Amazon.