Evangelization Tool #1 is to learn how to share your testimony, to describe how you have encountered Jesus. It is important to learn how to communicate your story because that is one of the only ways others will be open to receive the good news that you are about to share. The truth is, we need to evangelize better as a Church and be open to share about our personal experiences to become more relatable to others. There is something about being vulnerable to others. Vulnerability is something we all fear.
A personal story is attention grabbing and compelling to hear, especially if the encounter or struggle in the story is relatable. A person automatically becomes more credible sharing a personal story of faith because no one else can argue with your experience or encounter. Faith sharing may sound Protestant, right? Protestants do pretty well in this arena and we can learn from them. The original disciples came up with this concept first, they are the original Evangelizers.
This doesn’t mean the your entire story needs to be memorized and recited all at once, it means sharing a few personal moments may be necessary when sharing our faith with others. We need to be ready. An encounter with Christ is personal because he speaks to us individually and intimately that is only for you or for me.
There are three parts to a testimony:
- Where were you before your encounter with Christ?
- How did you encounter Christ?
- How are you now after your encounter with Christ? How are you living more faithfully?
I have had more of a gradual faith walk, so those three points are not effective for my story as a whole. I usually have to find a portion of my testimony that is relevant to the topic and elaborate on the experience that brought me to Jesus at that point. Sharing different sections of my testimony is an effective tool to describe the impact Jesus has had.
As you are thinking about your testimony now, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal which elements of your life you should share with others. It’s easy to assume God is not working in your life, especially if you have had a gradual faith walk or many small ups and downs. Allowing the time to reflect on what Jesus has done in your life is humbling. Maybe you will realize He has been there for you the entire time after all, waiting for you to answer His call?
While writing my testimony, I realized He had been calling me the entire time and was continuously giving His love and mercy even when I was pretty sure I was alone.
Taking a step back and reflecting on what you would share with another really reveals how far or close you have become with God. I will warn you, taking a moment to reflect on your testimony may give you an urge to rush to confession.
Here are some common tips I have come across to help with planning your testimony:
Be humble and serve others while planning your testimony.
Prayerfully prepare and pray for the Holy Spirit to empower you and to show you what to say to your listeners. Ask the Holy Spirit to be on your lips.
- Organize your thoughts on an outline or by bible verses.
- Respect and follow time limits as best as possible.
- Use the 3 part rule: have an intro, a middle, and a conclusion.
- Keep it simple, be natural, be yourself, and avoid unnecessary details that distract from the message of Jesus.
- Be aware of your wording, avoid “Christian jargon.”
- Avoid the slightest attack on another person.
- Submit your testimony to a priest, leader, for critique and discernment.
- Entrust your testimony to Mary, that she may intercede for you. She had the first Christ centered testimony…
- Acknowledge Jesus, so that He may acknowledge you before His Father in Heaven.
- Testimonies are not just for retreats, but everyday life. God looks for the available more than the able. Are you available to for Him?
Who knows? Maybe God is choosing you to be a witness to the faith and plant seed in someone. God wants to use all of our gifts to guide others to Him.