Till Christ Be Formed in Every Heart



Posts tagged testimony
How Not to Give a Witness

Last post I talked about the importance of giving a witness talk or testimony on a retreat or as part of your presentation because it is a change-oriented approach. The purpose of a testimony is to model what conversion to Christ looks like in the real world so your hearers can be assured that change is possible and real.

But there are bad ways to give a testimony, and some of them are pretty subtle. I wanted to address these right now before we move on to another aspect of teaching for conversion. Of course, I don't really do "subtle", but I do sarcastic really, really well.

And so here it is, if you want to give a bad testimony, follow these rules:

Bearing False Witness

  1. Talk mostly about your horrible (and exciting) sinful life. Out of an hour talk take 55 minutes to go on and on about how crazy-awesome-destructive your life was without Christ. Glorify the sin. Talk it up a lot. Make sure everyone is drawn into how depraved your life was and then, at the very end, mention how you met so-and-so who talked to you about Jesus and you stopped all that.
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Information or Conversion (part two): Personal Witness

Testimonies As Change-Oriented Talks

In the previous post I talked about a retreat where the enthusiasm of the students pushed me to go deeper with them in my talks. My response was one of two options: either I switch to a more information-dense presentation, or I push them further in conversion. Going with option two, you have to start with testimony, especially your own.

Introduction to Witness: Story Time

There are few things as powerful as a testimony in evangelization. Proclaiming your witness with all of the up's and down's that life has thrown at you, and drawing out those connections to Christ and how He has moved in your life personally has its own gravity. It pulls people in without being preachy or pushy.

Moreover, testimonies are narratives, and everyone loves a good story. People remember stories far more than they do talking points, quotes, jokes, or footnotes. The morals and dangers stand out like billboards. The lessons are felt because they are real. Teachings come alive. Plato used dialogues. Jesus used parables. People love a good story.

But you aren't reading this because you love a good story. You are reading this because you talk to people about Christ

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