Could you describe how you believe a testimony should be given?
Hey brother, I appreciate the awesome question.
Let’s get a pen and paper out. Here are twelve things to know for a proper testimony.
1) I’m just kidding. There are no twelve ways for a proper testimony.
2) Read #1.
3) Why are you still reading these numbers. Stahp. Waht are you doing.
You know, this is just one of those things where if you’re honest, you are yourself, you tell the truth, and you have ZERO agenda, then you’ll be just fine.
No one expects a testimony to be a polished, sermon-esque, theology-filled manifesto. A finely crafted testimony sounds like one of those artificial Midi files from an old Geocitites page. You just want it to stop.
Whether you’re sharing in front of a huge crowd or you’re face to face with your best friend, don’t be pressured into “telling it right.” You just tell your story of your personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Sort of like when you start dating and then people ask you, “How did you two meet?” One day you were doing your own thing, and BAM, you met the one. You fell in love, and Jesus changed everything.
One reason why testimonies feel so different in the pulpit than a sermon is because they’re absolutely personal: there’s no sense of argumentative persuasion, there’s no 3-Point-Application, there’s no fiery stream of preacher platitudes. People lean in to hear personal collisions with Christ, even ones that are poorly told. If only sermons could have half that passion, well: that preacher-voice wouldn’t sound so phony.
Every testimony is also worth telling. There’s equal cred for both the guy who quit selling black tar heroin to the guy who grew up in church his whole life and one day got exploded by the Gospel. Because Jesus rescued them both from death to life; he hung there bleeding on a cross for the most desperate rebel to the most religious wanderer. Even now, my heart swells with joy thinking about the depth of Jesus’ grace and the myriad of life stories that are so radically changed.
If you’re waiting for the right opportunity to tell your friend, don’t feel obligated to immediately corner them and blurt it out. The longer you hang out with someone, the more they trust you, and the more you’re liable to end up talking deep. They might ask you questions, or you might just tear up and start off with, “I was so lost man, and then …”
It’s okay if you’re awkward and hesitant and skip the fine doctrine. Don’t feel like you need to be “perfect” now to share it all. If you’re really real about it, your friend will see the sincerity. He or she might not understand all that was said, but they will see you mean what you’re saying. People can deny doctrine, but it’s hard to deny a deeply transformed soul.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world … But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
— Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5