I remember the first time I was given the prompt to write out my two-minute testimony. I was in my last semester of college, preparing with a team for a mission trip.
I don’t think I have a testimony, I thought.
This seems funny to me now. Today I have a passion for encouraging others to tell their stories for God’s glory. But back then I believed the lie that captures many of followers of Jesus: that I simply have nothing worthwhile to tell. And I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We each have a story—one filled with power when we humbly offer these experiences for God’s glory. Amazing things happen in this space. So how do we tell our stories for God’s glory? Here are a few helpful tools to help you process, prepare, and present your story.
You Have a Story
The first step in us sharing our story is beginning to believe that we actually have a story to tell. If it ever occurs to you to doubt that you have a story, stop that thought in its tracks. Each of our pasts is filled with situations and circumstances that make our stories uniquely beautiful, lives woven into the tapestry God is creating across all of history, diverse stories coming together as one epic tale. The Bible is filled with this sort of story diversity.
There is power in identifying with the way Moses felt unqualified to lead, and then seeing how God empowered him (Exodus 4:1–17). We find comfort in reading Joseph’s story of dreams seemingly lost, and how God worked out the evil done by others for Joseph’s good (Genesis 37, 39–47). Our faith is built up as we read about Peter walking on water, and Jesus reaching out to him as Peter began to sink (Matthew 14:22–33). There is beauty in the transformation of Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–22).
Can you imagine if these stories were all the same? It would steal the dynamic beauty of God’s story and limit its impact.
And when you keep your story to yourself, there is a unique aspect of God’s story that is hidden. Can you imagine if Paul had kept his transformation to himself? Much of the New Testament would not exist. Your story told for God’s glory shows that the same God from these Bible stories is at work today.
Before you begin, start with prayer. The truth is that the Enemy would rather us not tell our stories for God’s glory. He would much rather we stay quiet, believe we have nothing to say, or feel too awkward or inadequate to share. He would also rather we stay stuck and not move on in healing—he’d rather we didn’t recognize the effect Jesus has had on our lives.
Do not let him fool you into not telling your story.
Pray for protection before you write. Ask for strength for a future time of sharing. Pray for Jesus’ truth to overcome the lies that swirl in your heart and mind, and pray that engaging with your story would be a beautiful moment of intimacy, healing, and joy.
Write It Out
A great way to start understanding your story is to write the parts of your story down on paper. Using a journal, imagine this as a special time between you and God, asking him to highlight parts of your story that he wants you to record. I remember preparing to share my story for an event. While the event itself was special, the time spent with God as I wrote was incredible, personal, beautiful, and even healing.
Whether you are planning a talk, wanting to prepare yourself for an unexpected moment, or simply wanting to write your story for yourself, this time with Jesus is special. Here are a few prompts that can help you get started:
- Before Jesus, I was […]. Jesus came into my life and […]. Now I am […].
- I was praying for […]. Jesus showed me he was there by […]. This is how my prayer was answered: […].
- I needed a miracle for […]. Jesus showed up by […]. This how the miracle occurred: […].
- I was in these chains: […]. Jesus broke the chains by […]. Now I am […].
- I took this step of faith: […]. Jesus was with me by […]. This is what happened: […].
The list could continue. The key is to look for Jesus in all the areas of your life: the joys, the trials, the triumphs, the miracles. He is present in it all. We just need to open our eyes and look for him, and then write what we have seen.
Tell Your Story for God’s Glory
Whether the moment is planned or spontaneous, courageously share your story with others as a means of bringing God glory. That means that we intentionally focus on Jesus as the hero of our story. When sharing, it is so easy to let our sins, circumstances, or selves be the aspect of our story that receives glory. Instead, focus on Jesus’ victory: how he worked, how he broke the chains, and the mighty works that he has done.
Let your story be the modern, living example of how great God is. It just might be the very thing someone needs for Jesus to be revealed to them today.
You have a voice. You have a story. Tell it for God’s glory.