Then Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself:
- Life Before Salvation
- Life After Salvation
This is the outline of your witness. Your personal testimony is the most effective witness or evangelistic tool you possess. It requires no Scripture. It requires no need to believe you must be a biblical scholar. It simply requires that you talk about yourself and your personal encounter with Jesus. People you speak with may not believe what you have to save, but they cannot contradict your testimony. They may argue with the conclusions, but they cannot argue with the facts of your life.
Lets consider Paul again. Our earlier list has Paul as an intellectual witness. He could argue with the best! But, remember Pauls salvation story? Luke provides the details of Pauls encounter with Jesus in Acts 9. But, like you, Paul recognizes the importance of this tool. He uses his personal testimony in two recorded situations. In Acts 22, Paul uses his testimony to point the Jews to Jesus. Then, in Acts 26, Paul uses his personal testimony to point King Agrippa to Jesus. Paul realizes there is nothing more powerful than the Word of God working through the personal stories of believers.
We need to understand another aspect of the use of your testimony. You know yourself better than anyone else, but can you provide this witness to someone without rambling? Can you be concise in your presentation? Can you pull details out of the brain cells to address certain issues? Or, do you have to repeat your entire story to make your point? Sometimes we will have the luxury of time, but often we have but a few seconds or minutes to make our points.
We must learn and practice our testimonies, becoming able to respond with chunks of information tailored to the questions, situation, or person of the moment. God will help us, but, as silly as it may first sound, this takes practice. Try writing your testimony. See how it sounds. Then, try to wrap your testimony around a particular topic or emotional situation. It is not as easy as it sounds at least, at first.
At the end of these comments I will provide links to my testimony. This seems to the proper time to present this to you. But, as an example of what I mean about tailoring your testimony to the situation, I will also refer you to my wifes testimony. One church we attended recently (as I write this) completed a series call Survivor. One of the message topics was on Surviving Spiritual Mismatches. My wife provided her testimony as a part of that message. This presentation was structured to address the issue of a marriage of a believer to a non-believer. This is an example of what I have been discussing as to being able to address your testimony to a given situation.