When I was a teenager I always thought I didn’t have a testimony because I didn’t have a dramatic conversion story. I’d grown up in a Christian home. I hadn’t done anything ‘really bad’ like drugs. I was a pretty good kid at school, too. My leaders kept telling me that my life story was my testimony, but I didn’t understand how it could be as my understanding of a testimony was DRAMA.
But then I had a revelation. My testimony is simply what Jesus has done in my life. I didn’t need to be a ‘bad kid’ to have an encounter with Jesus. I didn’t need a dramatic conversion story to have a ‘valid’ testimony. I just needed to share my story.
Some of you may have had this revelation, and some of your teens may have too. But others won’t have. And to help them get to a place where they realise they do have a testimony, you need to be sharing yours. A lot. The Bible highlights the importance of remembering testimony to build our faith and overcome the Devil. You can use your testimony to not only share the goodness of God in your life but also to encourage your teens that their testimony has power. So, here’s 3 ways you can go about sharing your testimony to do this:
Share your life story.
This can be anywhere from 3 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the situation. I recommend practicing to get your life testimony into a compact 3 minutes or less. That way you can drop it into a message if necessary without it becoming the whole message. For example, this is how I would share my life testimony in 3 minutes or less:
- Since the age of 4 or 5 I grew up in a Christian family, and went to church on Sundays. I always considered myself a Christian, or liked the idea of being one anyway, but I never actually made a decision for myself to follow Jesus until I was 20. I’d left home and was at a point in my life where I could no longer rely on my parents’ faith to sustain me. I could no longer be a ‘Sunday Christian’. I decided if I was going to be a Christian I needed to do it for myself. I’d been baptised when I was 16 along with most of my family, but looking back I think I did it mainly because everyone else was doing it. When I was 22 I felt God telling me to get baptised again. And I did. I think this was a turning point in my life when I realised that what God says trumps what other people say.
So now you feel like you know me a little better but I haven’t given you every single detail about my walk with God. It’s more of a highlights reel. And it’s short enough that I can add in extra details to fit the rest of my message, if necessary. These kinds of testimonies are great to give a little background of where you’ve come from- perfect for your teens because that’s right where they’re at now. Seeing where you’ve come from gives your teens hope, because if God can work in you, he can work in them too.
Share the big things.
The big things often have a bit of ‘wow’ factor. The things that seem impossible, crazy, amazing. If you’re experienced healing, share it. If you’ve received supernatural provision, share it. If you’ve been through the fire and don’t smell of smoke, share it. If you’ve had a prophetic word come to pass, share it. Basically, if God has done something big in your life, share it. If God can do something big in your life he can do it in the lives of your teens! Some BIG examples of these testimonies I have are:
- Receiving two healings in one night.
- Giving a tenth of our wedding budget to God, and receiving an unexpected 10-fold return.
- On the same day the house we were renting got sold we were offered another, even better house to rent.. right across the driveway.
These testimonies are of some crazy awesome things God has done in my life, where I’ve recieved an answer to prayer or just been blessed in a BIG way. They have a dose of ‘wow’! They’re not the kinds of things that happen every day (I don’t move house everyday, praise Jesus), but they may not always make it into your highlights reel, either. These kinds of testimonies are great for emphasising how BIG God is, that the impossible can be done!
Share the everyday things.
God isn’t just present in the big picture. He’s there in the little things, the everyday mundane, the insignificant moments. The Bible says, ‘and surely I am with you always’. Part of being an ‘everyday Christian’ is having everyday ‘God moments’. Our teens need to know that God cares about the little things because more often than not they will have little moments where God shows up, as opposed to the big things we talked about earlier. Some recent examples from my life are:
- We were out for dinner one night and I really, really wanted roast lamb. It turned out the roast of the day was lamb! I was very happy.
- One night at Youth I was hoping someone would bring some marshmellows to share.. 2 minutes later someone turned up with marshmellows.
- We all have tough days and God knows just how to cheer us up. Often our wee boy does something funny right when I need some laughter.
Sometimes these kinds of testimonies are the most encouraging. They really do show that God knows the desires of your heart and knows just what we need before we even know ourselves. He cares about the tiny details. He doesn’t just show up in the big things. If God can give me the desires of my heart, he can do that for you, too. I don’t know about you, but for me the little things often have the greatest impact. Our teens need to know that their testimonies can be made up of little moments with God and that’s just as awesome (and vaild) as someone who’s testimony has a bit more flare.
Hopefully you now feel encouraged to share your testimonies more often!
- Do you share your testimony with your Youth? Have you seen faith building moments come from it?