of the Gospel
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
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What we are really talking about here is an overall approach to "sharing the gospel," of which your personal testimony is just a component. Personal Testimony is not a gospel presentation method so much as a lead in to presenting the gospel message. But it is such an effective lead-in, and with the ground so nicely prepared, you might feel very comfortable presenting the gospel in your own fashion rather than relying on one of the many gospel presentation methods. But using one of the methods works just as well.
In general, turning a conversation into sharing your own personal testimony is much easier than going straight into a presentation of the gospel. We can speak from the heart about our own experience and that is typically far more effective that speaking in the abstract.
So what are the main components of what we will call the Personal Testimony Method of Sharing the Gospel?
How do you bring up your personal testimony in a conversation?
What are the essential components of your personal testimony? Note that the testimony you present to someone you are witnessing to is quite different than the testimony you might present to other believers.
How to move from your testimony to a more complete presentation of the gospel, whether it be your own version or one of the many gospel presentation methods?
Closure and Invitation. If you get a positive response - and you are going to need to specifically ask for it - then this is a must!!
If your "target" accepts Jesus, what do you do next? You can't just leave it at that.
Wouldn't you know it? The Evangelism course taught by our own Pastor Bob covers all these bases. While there are a gazillion articles on sharing your faith (click on the images or the articles listed below) let us start with what Pastor Bob's evangelism course includes, as summarized by our own Karen P.
How to Use a Personal Testimony (Word document)
The following is a list of some of those gazillion articles mentioned above, along with a brief synopsis and possible editorial comment.
Sharing Your Faith 101 - This is from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, so you know it has to be good. However, while it covers all the essentials, it is still fairly general. My favorite part is the essential components of the gospel message. While most of the gospel presentation methods we present include these components, if you want to put together your own version, this is a good place to start.
How to Share Your Personal Testimony in 2-3 Minutes - This article covers just one's personal testimony and is consistent with our own "version." It has the added benefit of including sample testimonies. I recommend it highly. It is in pdf form, so it is easy to save or print.
How to Write Your Christian Testimony - As I look at more and more articles, I am beginning to think that there is a general consensus as to the essential components of one's personal testimony for witnessing. This article has some good tips, including things to avoid.
How To Share Your Testimony - This includes a bunch of specific possible items to include in each section of your personal testimony. Very handy. Also in pdf form.
Sometimes, you'll have a Bible with you.
Sometimes you won't.
Memory Verse Cards
Guess what? Our regular set of Evangelism cards came straight from Pastor Bob's seminary course on evangelism. They cover all the bases.
A note: When presenting the gospel, it is great if you have these verses memorized. Then they are always available to you. But if you haven't memorized them, don't let that be an excuse! Carry these verse cards in your wallet or purse and you'll always have them on hand. Or bookmark them all on your electronic Bible, or highlight them in your printed Bible. Just make them available!
As always, you can download the following Word document, print two-sided, flip on long edge. If your printer can handle card stock, use it.