6 ways to help them Share Their Story: Student Testimonies in Youth Ministry

Monday morning at 6:45 A.M., we’re leaving for our summer mission trip.  One of the things we wanted to set our students up for is how to share their story of transformation.  Telling students, “We’re going on a trip.  Be ready to share what Jesus did to you,” isn’t really setting them up for the win.  Here’s how I presented it to our team.  The list of “Do and Don’t” paragraphs aren’t complete or exclusive, by any means, but it’s what I use to give some courage to our students.  I walk through the tips, show them the 3 step story, and then share my own.  After that, they split up in our lobby and go write 3-7 sentences under each heading.  When we came back, I took volunteers to share their story, gave some feedback, and let everyone know that at some point during the week, I’d be having them tell me their story.  Now, when someone asks, “Why’d you come here just to do this?” they’ll be able to share with confidence what Jesus did for them.

 

SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY

  • Do be honest. Your story is about you.  Some people’s stories have a lot of crazy stuff in part one.  Others are a little more simple.  Don’t feel like you need to make up facts or exaggerate things to make your story sound way cooler.  Gods brought you through your story for a specific reason, so you don’t need to fake it.
  • Don’t give every detail. Be honest, but you don’t have to share everything.  It’s impossible to share your entire life with someone in a few minutes.  Think through what the important parts are, and weave those into a story.
  • Do know your story. YOUR story, you should know it!  If you’re trying to tell someone how amazing God is and how much he means to you, and you have to say, “wait….what happened next,” you lose all credibility.
  • Don’t recite your story. Forgetting your story will kill your credibility, but so will reciting it.  If it sounds like you’re reciting a script, or just spitting out memorized sentences, it’ll come across as fake. Be conversational just like you would telling any other story.
  • Do share it openly. Don’t feel like someone has to know the secret pass code.  No matter how mild or extravagant it feels, don’t be ashamed. Share it any chance you get, because you’re sharing more than the story of you. You’re sharing the story of our God who redeems us!
  • Don’t force it on people. Just because someone waves at you from across the street doesnt mean you hunt them down and say, “I have to tell you my story or else.” pray for god to show you when the time is right!

 

ELEMENTS OF YOUR STORY

1. HOW YOU WERE BEFORE
What was your life before you were a believer?  For some, this may  be a long section, for others, it may be pretty short.  One isn’t better than the other.

2. HOW YOU WERE TRANSFORMED

Tell about what happened when you prayed to accept Christ!  You don’t need to share the exact words you prayed, but share the circumstances surrounding the event.

 

3. HOW YOU ARE NOW

Make sure everyone knows you’re still not perfect.  Maybe share about some hard times you’ve had, some time you have slipped up and experienced God’s forgiveness, or a time in your life God seemed super close.  You want to tell people how you are different now because of God’s love.

 

 

 

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