Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Really Simple Testimony

“Tell what He’s done for you” should be a key part of sharing the gospel with others. It’s more powerful than any canned approach. Our testimony should sound natural and conversational, not scripted like a telemarketer. Nevertheless, there is value in writing out a significant experience to think through which details to include and what to leave out.

If you are telling your conversion, remember that the experience was between you and God and the same kind of experience is available to anyone, of any background or circumstances. If your testimony gives a lot of credit to your parents and your church, you may be missing the reality of what took place. This could lead the person you are talking to believe that the door is closed to her because she does not have those advantages.

Keep it simple, keep it short, but make sure it is complete. In some way, every experience includes a call from God, your response and the peace and assurance that God gave when you yielded to Him.

Here is mine:

Things were coming together for me; a secure job, a place to live and a wedding coming up in the summer. I believed I was doing the best I could in the circumstances. Then things started to unravel. Irregularities came to light at work and I seemed to be a suspect. My fiancee was having second thoughts.

One day, after troubled thoughts that led nowhere, I picked up a Bible and opened it. Revelation 3:16 stood out before me: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” The image shocked me. Was I that distasteful to God? I knelt down and confessed that my troubles were my own doing, and prayed that if God would help me now, I would do whatever He asked of me for the rest of my life.

No bells rang, but I was calm and knew what I had to do. The situation at work soon blew over, my fiancee made her decision (and has stuck with me for over 44 years). And God still asks things of me and reminds me: “this is part of what you promised back there.”

That’s 197 words, about the right size to convey the essential information. I won’t be able to tell it in exactly the same words every time, which is good – I don’t want to sound like I’m reading.

There are other experiences that have helped shape our lives and they can be dropped into a conversation if there seems to be an opening. Above all, it is important to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, not to run ahead and try to push open a door that seems stuck, nor to hold back for fear of what someone might think or say.

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6 responses to “Really Simple Testimony

  1. oliviaharmony October 30, 2014 at 08:16

    This is awesome and people need to hear this. Love how we can share this and the power behind it. I believe it really sinks in when people see real stories of change and commitment and love. This was awesome!

    • Bob Goodnough November 1, 2014 at 16:40

      Thank you, Olivia. I have tried the heavy-handed approach: “I know that I’m right and you need to see that I’m right!” It took time, but eventually I realized that I was exalting myself and not God. Telling the truth about my relationship with God in simple terms is humbling, but God is exalted and people are not turned off.

  2. srbelle October 30, 2014 at 08:29

    “Above all, it is important to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, not to run ahead and try to push open a door that seems stuck, nor to hold back for fear of what someone might think or say.”
    This is such a good post. I was just thinking about my testimony last night. I was trying to figure out how to word it because I feel like I am still in the midst of him performing it in my life! It has been quite the journey this year… I am 24 years old, I accepted the Lord and was baptized 8 years ago. I walked several years after that in darkness… I ran into a Calvinist earlier this year that challenged me on so many of my previous beliefs. At first I was extremely angry and decided that he was a heretic. While I am still not a Calvinist, that encounter forever changed my view on things, it forced me to study the word more. I began to seek the Lord like I never had before. I began to realize how serious my sin was. I had greatly downplayed the sovereignty of God, I was very self righteous, and sin still had dominion over me… It has been a struggle, but since then I feel like I have grown so much, and am still growing today. I now believe in the power of Christ to regenerate me and make me that new creature that Paul spoke about in 2nd Corinthians chapter 5. He has been so long suffering towards me. Praise his name.

    • Bob Goodnough November 1, 2014 at 16:52

      Thank you for your comments. I am not a Calvinist either; I believe the deterministic approach makes God responsible for too much. On the other hand, I don’t believe in the easy gospel that depicts salvation as a low-hanging fruit that we can reach out and pluck whenever we want. Jesus said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). There is no salvation apart from hearing and responding to the Father’s call to repentance.

  3. Levi Thetford October 30, 2014 at 09:03

    Yes, all believers have their own testimonies that can simply be shared.

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