Over the next few weeks in Youth Group we’ll be welcoming different people from Emmanuel Baptist Church, who will come and share their faith-stories with us. These “Faith Stories” are usually called “Testimonies,” and everyone’s story matters. Too often, we come to thinking that the only people with good testimonies are people who have been in gangs, did drugs, and were generally crazy sinners before coming to faith in Jesus Christ. But I don’t believe that – I believe that EVERYONE’S story matters, even if you think your story is boring. Teenagers, I would love to have some of you share YOUR stories with us on the final week of the series, let me know if you’re interested!
Here’s some practical advice on how to prepare your testimony:
What is a Testimony?
1. Testimonies Point to Christ, not Yourself
- In Acts 1:8 Jesus said that his disciples would be his “Witnesses” to the world. Our Testimony is our “Witness” about Who Jesus is and What he’s done. We need to make sure that we point to who Jesus actually is and what he really did through Scripture.
- If it’s not about Christ in you and the power of the Gospel demonstrated through your life, then it’s just your biography. We want to get to know you and your life story is important, but remember that you’re not sharing your testimony to talk about yourself, but to talk about Jesus Christ.
2. Testimonies are Humble and Honest.
- Don’t be over dramatic, but don’t downplay things either. If something was really difficult and painful, share it. If something is really exciting and amazing, share it. Please just don’t put on a show.
Do You Have a Testimony?
- Are you truly convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross for your sin, rose from the grave, and is coming again?
- Have you consciously give Jesus everything, or are you living a “borrowed faith?”
- What difference has Jesus made in your life?
- Where have you seen God at work in your life lately?
If you can answer these questions by saying, “Yes, I believe this and it’s not just my parents’ faith,” then you have a testimony! Have you paid attention to how Jesus has changed your life, or has it just happened without you noticing? However, if you think, “Yeah, I believe this stuff, but Jesus really hasn’t made any difference in my life,” then maybe you need to reconsider whether or not you’ve believed the right things without actually trusting in Jesus. Our Faith is not just a set of ideas/truths to agree with… our Faith is in Jesus Christ (who He is, what He’s done, and who He’s calling us to become).
How to Learn Your Testimony:
1. Your life before Christ
- What was your life like before you gave your life to Christ?
- Please DO NOT glorify your sin. Share what needs to be shared so you can give credit to Christ for saving you, but we don’t need specific stories unless they are really connected to how Christ opened your eyes to your need for him.
2. How God “woke you up” through the Gospel
- Where were you?
- Who shared the Gospel with you?
- Was there a something in particular that God used to get your attention, or was it a slow process?
3. How the Gospel transformed your life
- How did your life change?
- What were some of the joys that Christ brought?
- What were some of the challenges you faced?
4. How Christ is still working in you today
- How have you seen God’s faithfulness play out in your life (short stories are ok!)?
- What difference has Jesus made in the long-run?
- How has your relationship with Christ deepened over the years?
- Where do you see Christ at work in your life now?
Thank God for Boring Testimonies!
It really is amazing to hear people talk about the extraordinary things God has rescued them from, but most Christians don’t have stories about God saving them from suicide, illicit drugs, prostitution, or gangs. Those are remarkable stories to hear, no doubt, but too often people think, “I’m just a normal person with a boring testimony. Yeah, I’m a Christian, but it’s no big deal.” Wrong, it is a big deal – Faith in Christ is ALWAYS a miracle to celebrate!
Instead of thinking of your testimony as being boring, think of it this way: God has protected you from a ton of things that you could’ve experienced! The funny/ironic thing is, so many of us who’ve never experienced the pain and loneliness of being a “prodigal son” think about it like we’re missing out on something. But those who have been there left it all behind in order to pursue Christ because they know how empty and lonely it all was. So if you have a “boring testimony,” thank God for protecting you!