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Guidelines for SHARING A PERSONAL TESTIMONY I.

Sharing Your Testimony There are always many things to share but it is often necessary to leave out certain things and say only those that will help us effectively communicate and give witness. The content as well as the manner of our sharing will depend on the kind o audience that we have. When speaking to an audience which is non-Christian or has very little religious background, we should emphasize how we came into a basic relationship with Jesus and how that affected our lives. When addressing an audience of nominal or cultural Christians, it may be helpful to maintain that religion started to make sense and come to life only after our decision to put Christ first in our lives. The simplest way to put together your personal testimony would be in the form of this simple Three Point Outline:

1. What your life was like before you came into a relationship with Jesus Christ. 2. How you came to know Jesus. 3. What happened to your life after you made a commitment to follow the Lord. What changes took place in your life ? Notes on the Three Point Outline: 1. On describing what your life was like before you came into a relationship with the Lord. a. We should look for relevant, interesting facts and experiences that would help people perceive what we were like (e.g., our character and attitudes) Example: My College motto was: Whats the use of living when youre going to die anyway ? b. Do not speak in vague, general terms. They actually communicate very little to the listeners. Example: Before I came to know the Lord, there was so much evil in my life. The flesh and the devil were always causing me to sin. Then I went to a prayer meeting and met the Lord and its been fantastic. c. Speak to others in a way that will help them identify with you or at least appreciate your experiences. Use examples that they can relate to (e.g., religious family, conflict with parents, educational background, work, etc.)

2. On relating how you came to know Jesus Christ: a. Ask yourself: What went on in your mind; what happened when you made your decision; when you saw and understood the truth; when something you

had decided years before came alive to you and you recognized the significance) b. Describe your experience in such a way that the listener will be able to know what you were thinking, how you were feeling, what concrete thing happened, how it took place (e.g., My boss invited me to attend a retreat) 3. On relating the different things that happened in your life after your decision to follow Christ: a. Mention those changes that are most relevant to the retreatants. b. Be concrete and relate to them clearly the difficulties you mentioned in the first part. Example: I realized that my life has a significant purpose: to serve God and others. Ive been a part of Lingkod for two years now and it is now my goal to reach out to other young working people like myself and tell them about the Lord. My new motto: Life is worth living ! II. Things Not To Do Do not use Christian or Charismatic jargon (e.g., saved, born again, spoke in tongues, Baptized in the Holy Spirit, the world, etc.) Do not be wordy, or beat around the bush, or include irrelevant details. Do not go overboard about emphasizing how bad you were in the past. Beware of the tendency to spend most of your time describing how you were before you decided to change and give your life to Jesus Christ. Remember, people want to know how and why they should follow the Lord. Do not use glittering generalities (e.g., wonderful, glorious, fantastic, etc.) Go not use negative and sarcastic language against Christian teaching, the Church, priests or nuns, even when you are talking about the past. Do not give the impression that Christianity is a bed of roses. Focus more on how the Lord helped you through difficulties and what you have learned.

III. Things To Do Practice your testimony until sharing it comes naturally to you. Memorize it. This will force you to be concrete and relevant. You will be secure, confident and more understandable. Speak clearly and confidently make sure you are audible. Be aware of the audience and speak to them. Establish eye contact, do not look down or look up. Avoid uh, um, sort of, kind of, you know, as connectors. Plan your ending a good testimony may be ruined by a poor ending. Do not read your testimony. You may use note cards but do not have too many of them. One or two will suffice. Dress neatly and appropriately. Use appropriate gestures but avoid annoying habits (e.g., touching your nose, running your fingers through your hair). Know your time limit. Always be aware of how much time you have left so you can pace yourself. Stay on track (to the Three-Point Outline).