Testimony. This word is common in both secular and Christian communities, but has very different meanings in both. In our world, we usually hear it in the criminal justice system with an eye witness giving an account of what they saw or experienced. In the Christian community, the idea is similar, but the motives and the goals are very different.
This semester here at Nicolet Bible Institute the students are taking a class called “Missions and Evangelism.” This past week the class focused on testimonies and sharing the Gospel. A testimony is simply telling what God has done and is doing in a person’s life. A testimony is really God’s story. Every person has a story, but every Christian has a testimony. The goal is to be a Christian who has a testimony worth telling others about. This is done by making the testimony more than just a life story, but as was said above, God’s story. The students learned how to share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, in their testimonies.
This process started with the students creating an outline of their testimonies which they presented in three minutes to the class that included before salvation, moment of salvation, and after salvation. They were encouraged to make it conversational, avoid “Christianese” and clichés, keep it simple, honor God, use Scripture, and share the Gospel. Student Grace Brunk said this: “It was nice being able to practice presenting our testimonies in a safe environment to prepare us to share our testimony with those who aren't Christian when the opportunity presents itself.”
1 Peter 3:15 says this: “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” So why do we teach the students to be ready to share their testimonies? It is a Biblical way of sharing your faith and a powerful evangelical tool. Some reasons why sharing testimonies is a powerful evangelical tool are the following: it is a natural way without offending, others cannot argue personal experiences, it whets the appetite to learn more, and identifies common life experiences.
Another assignment the students were given was to create a cardboard testimony (look it up on YouTube if you haven’t heard of it). The assignment was to take a piece of cardboard, and on one side write about who they were before they had Christ in their lives, and on the other side write how they changed once they had Christ in their lives. They only used a few words to tell their stories, which can intrigue an audience and make a huge impact. Student Kayla Klitzke said this: “I liked how we could become closer as a class by sharing our testimonies and summarizing them by using something as simple as cardboard.”
In conclusion, our desire is for the students to be ready and equipped to share what God has done and is doing in their lives. 2 Timothy 4:2 says “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” God doesn’t waste anything that He has done in any of our lives. He could use your testimony to reach someone who needs to hear it. Don’t keep God’s story to yourself. Share it!