How can you share the good news about Jesus naturally and easily with others, by telling the story of what he has done in your life?
The Apostle Paul, a famous follower of Jesus in the early church, often told his conversion story as a way of encouraging others to follow Jesus. He is recorded as telling his story twice in the Bible, though surely he told it many more times.
Read the account below of Paul (who was called Saul before his conversion) telling his story to an angry crowd.
Acts 22:3-16 (Paul shares his conversion story)
What do you think you can learn from Paul about how to tell your conversion story?
A high school student was chatting with her classmates during a lunch break one day when one of them, a professed atheist, knowing that she was a Christian, started a conversation with her about faith. The girl was reluctant to engage in the conversation because she felt that this other student was more intelligent and was better able to argue any point she made. However, rather than getting into a debate, the girl asked if she could share her story of how she came to Christ. This was welcomed and as she spoke she could tell that her classmate was being touched by what she shared. What is more, other students had stopped and had started to listen in. There was no debate afterwards, and no one questioned the legitimacy of her spiritual experience.
What has been your experience of telling people about how you came to know Christ?
Below are two shapes that can enable you to powerfully share your story about coming to Christ.
This Linear Testimony Tool helps you share some of your personal conversion story in a way that also communicates all the truths that someone needs to know to take the step to become a follower of Christ themselves.
The first circle has 3 lines for you to write down 3 things that you felt before you became a follower of Jesus, e.g. lost, lonely, guilty, empty, etc.
The next section, the arrows and cross, is a prompt for you to share that you learned about how Jesus came down to earth, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead, to enable you to be forgiven and have a new life with God.
The crown is a prompt for you to then share that you also learned that, if you made Jesus king of your life, you could have this new life with him.
The backwards arrow is a prompt for you to share that you made the decision and turned to Jesus making him king of your life.
And finally, the second circle has 3 lines for you to write down 3 things that you now feel since making this decision and becoming a follower of Jesus.
Put all together, your short testimony would sound something like this:
‘Before I became a follower of Jesus I felt ______, _______ and _______.
Then I learned that Jesus came down to earth, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead to enable me to be forgiven and have a new life with God.
I also learned that, if I made Jesus king of my life, I could have this new life with him.
So I did that. I turned to Jesus and made him king of my life.
And since I did that, I now feel ______, _______ and _______.’
This Longer Testimony Outline is a simple format that you can use to share a longer version of your story, whether that be in conversation with others or in a more formal setting like a baptism.
Before meeting Christ
- What was my life like?
- What did my life revolve around the most? What did I get my security or happiness from?
- How did those areas begin to let me down?
How you met Christ
- When was the first time I heard the gospel? (Or when was I exposed to Christians)
- What were my initial reactions?
- When did my attitude begin to turn around? Why?
- What were the final struggles that went through my mind just before I accepted Christ?
- Why did I go ahead and accept Christ?
After meeting Christ
- What specific changes has Christ made?
- Why am I motivated differently?
[Adapted from www.cru.org How to tell your story worksheet]
Give each Missional Community member time alone to list 3 things they remember feeling before they became a follower of Christ, 3 things they feel now as a follower of Christ, and to practice saying these as part of the Linear Testimony Tool wording below.
‘Before I became a follow of Jesus I felt ______, _______ and _______. Then I learned that Jesus came down to earth, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead to enable me to be forgiven and have a new life with God. I also learned that, if I made Jesus king of my life, I could have this new life with God. So I did that. I turned to Jesus and made him king of my life. And since I did that, I now feel ______, _______ and _______.’
Come back together and get everyone to share their short story in turn.
Spend some time as a whole Missional Community praising God for what he has done. Spend an extended time praying for God to give you opportunities to share these stories this week.
‘We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.’
Other Bible passages:
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