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How To Tell Your Story
Part One - Preparation
(All Bible references are from the New Testament. Format is book, chapter:verse).
What Is Witnessing?
a). An overflow. b). One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. c). "To witness is so to present Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women shall put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their saviour and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the Church" (Archbishop William Temple).
How Can I Explain the Gospel?
Follow this link for a simple gospel explanation you can memorise.
Why Should We Do It?
a). It brings glory to God - John 15:8. b). We are commanded to do it - Matthew 4:19. c). People are lost without Jesus - I John 5: 11-12. d). The love of Christ constrains us - 2 Corinthians 5: 14. This love is expressed, not by the emotions, but by THE WILL. We should never wait for our emotions to make us feel like witnessing.
Why Might We Not Do It?
a). Embarrassment - if I talk about what I believe I will feel silly. b). Fear of rejection - I might be rubbished and rejected. c). Inadequacy - I'm afraid I won't know the answers to people's questions and I will lose out, let God down and wish I'd never started the conversation.
It's OK - Our Inhibitions Are Biblical!
a). Even the Apostle Paul shares our experience of feeling foolish - I Corinthians 4:10. b). Jesus' own neighbours take offence at him and reject him - Mark 6: 1-6. c). Jesus promised the disciples that if they trust God, the Holy Spirit will speak through them when they are tongue-tied.
We Need To Remember.....
It's possible to have faith without having all the answers. If we can have faith while still having problem areas, so can other people! Most people's faith is like a set of balance scales. Faith comes when the reasons for believing outweigh the problems. Like the blind man in John 9:25 we can say: " I don't know, but this I do know....."
We Need To Pray For People And Opportunities
God loves those He made more than you do and doesn't want any to perish. Someone once said "Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance but laying hold of God's willingness." We can therefore pray boldly and with assurance that God is with us in our witnessing. Having prayed, expect to see the opportunities that God will provide.
Make Sure There Is No Unconfessed Sin In Your Life
Repentance applies to Christians as much as to unbelievers. I need to take time before God to address those actions, attitudes and behaviour patterns in my own life that offend God. I cannot expect God to bless my witnessing or any other activities if I am knowingly disobedient to Him in some area of my life. Look at the promise in I John I:9.
We Need To Go Out In The Power Of The Holy Spirit
When you came to Christ you were sealed with His Spirit. To be effective witnesses, overcoming the hindrances of the flesh mentioned above, we need to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we feel lacking in this area, we need to appropriate by faith the fulness of the Holy Spirit which is ours by right, by virtue of what Jesus' accomplished through his death and resurrection. Jesus promised "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem; and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Look also at the parable of the Friend at Midnight in Luke 11: 5-13, in particular the promise in verse 13. Finally, I John 5: 14-15 says :"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we ask of Him". It is God's will that we witness to Jesus, not in our strength alone, but drawing on the Lord's resources to enable us.
Part Two - Writing Your Testimony
Before You Start
Ask God to guide you in your preparation. Be honest in your statements and don't exaggerate either the positive or the negative aspects of your story. Don't criticise other people or denominations or make any other negative remarks in your story. God has lifted YOU up, so don't bring anyone else down. Don't use any religious jargon. Aim eventually to have two versions of your story; a two minute one and a ten minute one. You can than adapt to the circumstances, according to which version is appropriate for the occasion. Make sure both versions are concise and to the point! When you have written your story, practice reading it over in front of a sympathetic friend who can give you positive feedback.
Section One - My Life Before I Became A Christian
Some people have a sudden conversion experience. For others, it can happen over a period of time without a clear pinpointed date.Whichever way your conversion occurred, try and recall here what your life was like before. What attitudes did you display? What were your behaviour and feelings about life?
Section Two - How I Came To Realise I Needed Jesus
Include here what made you turn to Jesus. Did you have a need that Jesus met? Were you at the end of your tether and couldn't go on? Was the process a long or a short one? Make it clear in your story that becoming a Christian was entering into a relationship with Christ, not just subscribing to some set of principles or way of living
Section Three - How I Became A Christian
Explain exactly what brought you to the point where you gave your life over to Jesus. What specific step did you take to become a Christian? Was it a sudden transformation or was it a long process?
Section Four - What Being A Christian Means Now
What difference has becoming a Christian made to your life? What are the highlights? Has there been a price to pay in relationships? Based on your experience to date, explain why you would encourage others to become a Christian too.
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