God invites each one to have a part in the harvest. One way we can do this is by sharing our story at appropriate times. The following article illustrates how this can effectively be done.
The man stood at the shore, still wide-eyed and amazed at what had just happened to him. He couldn't let this man, this Jesus, get away. "Please Master, let me go with you!" Patiently, Jesus turned toward the pleading man and said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. . . ." (Mark 5:13-20).
What has the Lord done for you? Have you shared your story? As Christians we should all have a story to tell. Here are a few reasons why it's so important.
To start with, it's Biblical. Jesus wants us to tell others about the good things He does for us. The above story illustrates this. Secondly, a personal testimony helps you identify with people. It creates common ground between you and the other person. You might even want to begin your story with, "I know how you feel," or "I use to feel that way." Thirdly, a personal testimony reinforces your own faith. Sometimes we forget where we might be without Jesus in our lives. Each time we re-tell our story we are reminded of God's goodness to us.
Points to Remember
There are three parts to your story:
A. The Before Picture - Describe how you were before you met Christ. Be specific, but don't glamorize sin. If you were raised a Christian you may want to begin your story with, "I'm happy that I found life's real meaning at an early age."
B. The Turning Point - Describe what happened that brought about your change. At this point, don't try to describe your conversion in detail. Just say something like, "Then I found a better way of life. . . ."
C. The After Picture - Describe how you are today. Tell about the positive benefits of your new life. Be specific, but stay away from Christian lingo. Words such as "saved," "converted," "born again," and "the truth" do not have meaning to the non-Christian, and may not even be positive to Christians of other faiths.
When asked, every follower of Christ should be able to briefly share how Christ has made a difference in their life. If you aren't sure where to begin, follow these simple guidelines:
Here are some general points to remember when sharing your story:
• Be confident and positive
• Be enthusiastic, happy and friendly
• Keep it short
• Be specific, stick with the facts
• Be sincere and authentic
• Don't argue or try to prove a point
• Don't talk down other denominations
• Keep it simple
God bless you as you share your story!
Written by Debbie Dietz of Riverside, CA.