To Improve Your Reach: Write Out Some 30-Second Testimonies
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.” – Luke 15:1
It’s odd how many Christians are happy to be followers of Christ, but who are not so happy at the thought of telling others about it.
It’s a disconnect many of us struggle with. Jesus seems to understand this though, which is why he promises to teach us to become fishers of men. He knows that for most, this won’t come naturally. Since I’m one of those (who finds it easier to preach a sermon than strike up a spiritual conversation with someone), I’m always on the lookout for Scriptural lessons to help me improve my reaching capacity.
I found one of those lessons in this short verse in Luke 15. Luke tells us that a group of “unchurched” people are “drawing near” to Jesus. That’s not a small point to observe. There is something magnetic about Jesus’ message and personality that compels this group of lost people to want to get close to him. It’s like they know they need him.
It’s important that we Christians see this. Especially today. Because we live in a time and place where Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians are under siege in our culture. And so we’re conditioned to think that everyone’s against us. The media mocks us. Politicians deride us. Hollywood spills its venom out on us.
After enough of this bombardment, if we’re not careful we begin to circle the wagons, or maybe we start doubting ourselves. We start thinking, “Well, maybe they are right. Maybe I am a little weird believing all this. Maybe Christianity’s not what I thought it was.”
At which point we have to stop ourselves and say, “No! Snap out of it! My Lord Jesus is the best thing going in my life!”
There are reasons why these lost people came running to Christ. They’re the same reasons most of us came for the first time. We’ve just forgotten those reasons. “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits,” David wrote in Psalm 103.
A useful, even necessary exercise that will help us remember those benefits is something I call a 30 Second Testimony. Sit down and write out a short paragraph that completes this sentence: “I love Jesus because…”. Thirty seconds goes by quickly, so it can only be a few sentences.
There are reasons why these lost people came running to Christ. They’re the same reasons most of us came for the first time. We’ve just forgotten those reasons.
Everyone who follows Christ should easily be able to write out multiple 30 Second Testimonies. (And if you can’t, then there’s a disconnect there that you ought to figure out.) Your stories could be:
- A conversion “I love Jesus because he saved me…” then take 30 seconds to describe how that happened.
- A deliverance “I love Jesus because he helped me through…” then take 30 seconds to describe a difficulty he helped you face.
- A doctrinal “I love Jesus because there’s no one like him…” then describe one facet of Jesus’ life and message that is incomparable with anyone else, and unforgettable to you.
- A truth “I love Jesus because he’s taught me…” then describe a lesson you’ve learned in following him.
- An experience “I love Jesus because he showed himself to me by…” then write out in a few sentences how you experienced his presence and power.
Why just 30 seconds?
- Because it’s simple to do.
- You can write more of them out.
- They’re easy to memorize. Which is important, because…
- They’re easy to share with others. (And most of the time in normal conversation with others, you won’t have more than 30 seconds to make your point. Consider it an “elevator pitch”. You can always expand on it later, but you have to first get in the door of the conversation.)
- Most of the testimonies in the Bible – even Paul’s – are 30 seconds or less.
- It will encourage your heart when you chronicle the difference Christ has made in your life.
- We live in a sound-bite culture. This forces you to be brief.
- Because people love stories! Stories get attention.
So have at it. Make this an ongoing project that stretches out for several weeks. In your heart, you know that it’s amazing that Christ came to earth, and came to you. Even lost people in Jesus’ time knew it.
Now you try to explain why.
Bear Clifton, writer and screenwriter, is the pastor of BridgeWay Community Church in California, Maryland. His blogs, screenplays and devotionals can be enjoyed at his ministry website: trainyourselfministry.com and his writing website: blclifton.com. Bear is also the author of “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, “Ben-Hur: The Odyssey”, “A Sparrow Could Fall”, and his latest – “Living Under The Cross”, a collection of essays on the Beatitudes – all available through Amazon.