Personal Testimony (General Relationship With God Story) Creation Guide

Personal Testimony Creation Guide

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.”
1 Peter 3: 15-16

STEP ONE: Dialogue with God, pray and think about some or all of the questions below, as a bounce-board for your dive into your story.  You can write your answers as you go, if you wish.

  • What circumstances, attitudes, things that I watched, listened to, people I was around, etc. affected how I thought about God/related to Him when I was growing up?

  • Is there one moment in particular (or perhaps a few) that changed significantly the way I related to God (for better or for worse)?

  • What are the major events in my life that influenced how I relate to God and to other people?

  • How did my family situation affect my relationship with God

  • How did my friendships affect my relationship with God?

  • Are there areas of sin in my life that God has helped me to overcome (or is in the process of helping me overcome)?

  • Are there areas of healing in my life that God has/is working on?

  • What are the top three “God moments/encounters” that stick out in my mind over the course of my life (times where you felt His presence, or that He was talking to you, or just an interaction with someone that led you closer to God….whatever a God moment is to you).

  • Who are the people that influenced me in some way to get to know God better?

  • What talks or events influenced me in some way to get to know God better?

  • How has my perception of God changed over the years?

  • What are the practical things I do (should do) to maintain a relationship with God?

  • What are the big lies that I believed that were/are a hindrance for me to know God’s love (i.e. “you aren’t good enough” “God only loves you if…” “God is a tyrant” “God’s mercy isn’t big enough for my sin”…etc.)?

  • How is my life different because of knowing God and living in relationship with Him (think about your attitudes toward life, behaviors, feelings, routines, understandings, friends, etc.)?

  • How do I understand and participate in Mass now?  How did I used to before I understood God?  How would I like to go deeper in the Mass?

  • What does my prayer life look like now compared to before knowing the Lord in a deeper way?  How has greater intimacy with God changed me? What is the vision He has shown me for continued growth in prayer and daily worship/relationship with Him?

  • How did my understanding of chastity/living out of chastity affect my relationship with God (for better or for worse) was there a turning point in this?

  • How do people around me know that I am a Christian?

  • Were there people in my life whose Christian walk stood out to me? What was it about their life that made me realize they were a Christian?

  • In what ways is God calling me to go deeper in relationship with Him?

STEP 2: Write free form about your overall journey with God asking the Holy Spirit to guide you.  This one is not to share with anyone, but just you and the Lord -- it's a look at where you and He have been and where you feel He's calling you.  You can even write it as a prayer, thanking God for this journey and talking to Him directly, like "remember when You showed me this..." and "Thank You for that..." and "I hope that ten years from now my story with You looks like this..." or "What do You think, Jesus, about where I am now from where I've been, and where do you want to take me?"

STEP 3: Once you've done this prayerful brainstorming and information dumping, then you can take that info and all that you learned from your own journey, to create an official 5-10 minute testimony. The general format suggestions are listed below:

5-10 Minute Personal Testimony: Typically, 3 pages double spaced, 12 point font will take you to a 10 minute testimony. Typically, for a 10 minute general life testimony, you want to spend... 
  • 1.5-2 Minutes on who you were before meeting Jesus in a deeper way -- paint a picture of the life you lived, lies you believed, need/hunger for God that you were seeking to meet in the wrong ways. 
    • Remember not to disdain your "old self" too much, nor to glorify the sin you used to partake in.....Jesus doesn't look at sin lightly, nor does He remember it anymore once we've confessed it
    • This is just a way to paint a picture of life without God, without hating on/demeaning who you once were (many who hear might be lost in the sin you once were lost in and God loves them very much, as He loved you too while you were still a sinner), nor making light of, nor going into unnecessary detail of the bad things you once did. 
  • 4-7 Minutes on the encounters with God that changed you --- look for the highlights that caused major transformation or led to a process of major transformation in your life.  Share about the times God became real to you, times He opened your eyes, ears, and heart to His love and to His calling.  
    • Focus here on God's action in your life
    • Your response to God's action is important too --especially if it was a process and He was renewing your mind
      • You can let people in on the thoughts you had and questions you asked and how they were eventually answered/your mind was changed, as people will be able to relate more and learn from your experience. 
  • 1.5-2 Minutes to share some practical ways you keep up your relationship with God, or ways you still hope to grow.  
  • 30 seconds to 1 Minute: End with an invitation for them to meet Jesus in the same way(s) you have.  

*Note: Any of us could probably have a variety of different testimonies focusing on various areas where the Lord has met us and changed us--feel free to write a few different ones with different "theses."

STEP 4: Practice reading it out loud and timing it.  Make any necessary shavings or additions after you've heard yourself say it out loud.

STEP 5: Share with a friend or family member. Remember the purpose of this is to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus by showing what the Lord has done for you as an illustration of how He could work in someone else's life (even if they already have relationship with God, or they don't struggle in the same way you do--your life-witness is still powerful to lift others up to see what's possible and allow God to transform them afresh.  

STEP 6: Pray about creating an iwitness video (usually closer to the 5 min mark is good for these) or sharing with the Large Group at DIP.  Email if you are interested in doing this.
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