Training Database

Testimony (Personal Story)  
(Practical Skill)


15 min

A believer's personal experience of meeting Jesus is one of the most powerful witnessing tools, because it shows the power to change lives. 

This is a broad description of one's personal testimony. For a specific way of sharing your story, go to 15 Second Testimony.


A testimony is an expression of contrasts—what a person's like used to be like, and what it is like now—because of what Jesus has done.  Thus, it generally is expressed in three parts: 

  • What kind of person you were before you met Jesus
  • How you came to know and trust Jesus
  • They way Jesus has changed your life

Paul shares this three-part model in Acts 22 and 26, so read these accounts to get a feel for how to share your own story.

Guidelines for developing an effective testimony:

  • Brief - keep it under 2 minutes. Testimony can be of varying lengths, but to share with unbelievers it should not be longer than 2 minutes.  With unbelievers, keep in mind that the shorter, the better.
  • Focused - keep it centered on Jesus, not you
  • To the point - show how Jesus changed your life positively
  • Avoid religious jargon
  • Avoid age-revealing factors (e.g., "when I was in college," "or when I was 12").  Let them interpret your testimony and connect with the present, rather than write you off because you were "young and naive" when you began to follow Jesus.
  • Appeal to emotion as well as the facts. Use language that invites them into the emotional experience of following Jesus and the change that accompanies it.

Consider using a theme to link the three parts of your testimony. Think in generalities about your life — a theme hidden in the details that you could shape the reason you gave your life to Christ and the transformational outcome as a result:

  • inner peace
  • awareness of sin
  • sensing God’s love
  • desire to read the Bible
  • the peace of forgiveness
  • ability to defeat sin
  • improving attitudes
  • caring for others

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Alphabetical Listing of Training Elements

  15-Second Testimony
  Acts 2 Study
  Allen, Roland - Strategic Points
  Allen, Roland - Substance of Paul’s Preaching
  Allen, Roland - The Teaching
  Are We Disciples of Jesus Christ
  Balance in the Five-Fold Ministry
  Banyan Trees and Banana Trees
  Big Vision
  Blind Spot
  Breaking the Rules
  Church Identity Triangle
  Coaching Plan
  Coleman, Robert - The Master's Plan
  Community Survey
  CPM Continuum
  Creation to Christ Story
  Creative Problem Solving
  Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee
  Disciple-Making and Raising Children
  Discovery Bible Study (DBS) - AIM for Believers
  Discovery Bible Study (DBS) - AIM for Unbelievers
  Door-to-Door Preparation
  Ee-Taow, Part 1
  Ee-Taow, Part 2
  Eims, Leroy - Biblical Examples
  Eims, Leroy - Early Church
  Eims, Leroy - Two Examples
  Forces of Light and Darkness
  Four Kinds of Disciples
  Four Stages / Four Fields
  Generational Growth Mapping
  Gospel Bridges
  Gospel Encounters Record
  Gospel on the Hand
  Great Commission Partnership
  Hope in a Broken World
  Ibraham, Ishtak - Reaching Muslim People
  Inward & Outward Focus
  Know - Be - Do
  Lessons from the Thessalonians
  Lockridge, SM - My King
  McGavran, Donald - Pattern of the Great Century
  McGavran, Donald - People Movements
  Multiplication Exercise
  New Life in Christ
  One Anothers
  One Mission
  Parable of the Cornfield
  Patterson, George - Spontaneous Multiplication
  Paul's Development Through 5 Levels of Leadership
  Paul's Discipleship Model
  Paul's Three Journeys
  People in the Harvest (Four Soils)
  People List
  People Map (oikos or network)
  Person of Peace
  Positive Accountability
  Problem Solving Exercise
  Quotes & Verses Posters
  Richardson, Don - Concept Fulfillment
  Richardson, Don - Finding the Eye Opener
  Schindler's List—'I Could Have Done More'
  Schwartz, Glenn - Dependency
  Sending Narratives Study
  Seven Generations
  Simson, Wolfgang - Fathering
  Simson, Wolfgang - Fivefold Ministry
  Simson, Wolfgang - House Churches
  Small Group Sizes
  Smith, Steve - The T4T Story
  Stott, John - The Bible in World Evangelization
  Strategy Snapshot
  Testimony (Personal Story)
  The Bold Parts
  The Complete Package for Church Planting Movements
  The Five-Fold Ministry in the Four Stages
  The Four Fields and the Great Commission
  The Great Commission of Abraham
  The Great Story
  The Left Side of the Graph
  The Lorax—'Plant the Seed'
  The Modeling Sequence in Luke
  The Peter Pathway
  The Romans Road
  The Traffic Light
  The Word on the Street
  Three Circles
  Three Great Commands and AIM Pattern
  THUMB - Religious Groups
  Training Faithful Trainers (TFT)
  Triangle and Square
  Vision-Casting Vignettes
  Witness Model Zone
  Witnessing to Catholics
  Your New Journey


David served the purposes of God in his own generation, and then he died... - Acts 13.36