2014 Winter · reflections

One good reason

by Ginny B.

14_soror

Nothing speaks the beauty of the gospel more than a changed life
When I was younger, I was extremely shy. I lacked confidence in simply talking to other people, let alone talking about Jesus. But as a freshman in college, I was challenged by a Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) leader to share my testimony with my sorority’s pledge class (pictured above).

She may as well have asked me to do an Ironman Triathalon.

Me, share my testimony with these 65 young, beautiful, we’ve-got-it-all-together girls? No way.

But eventually I did end up doing it, sharing with these girls what Jesus had done for me, how He had saved me. And I didn’t die right then and there like I imagined I would. I thought perhaps these girls would turn their backs on me, but they didn’t. Two of them even asked me if I would lead a Bible study with them.

Be prepared
Though most of us might never be expected to share our conversion story in front of a crowd, all of us should be ready to respond to friends, coworkers and acquaintances with a thoughtful, short narrative of how living life with Jesus at the helm has changed us and given us purpose, freedom and the assurance that we are okay in our relationship with God because of what Jesus did for us (not what we did for Him).

…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… – Peter 3:15

“Oh no,” you may argue, “My life is boring! What could possibly be attractive about my story?”

If your life truly rests in Jesus, then no, my friend, your life cannot be boring!

Jesus has promised you an abundant life in Him. He didn’t promise you would have it all together, or that you would never have problems. He did promise that He would be with you and never leave you, that He would help you be an overcomer, that you don’t have to live like an orphan any longer. Trusting Jesus to take the lead in your life is anything but boring!

Perhaps He spared you a life of grief and guilt from early on by opening your eyes to His wonderful grace at a young age. Maybe your early conversion means you never experienced the pain and loneliness and fear that someone without Him may experience over the years as a consequence for wrong choices they make. But we all have that hole in our hearts–a knowledge that something isn’t quite right, that something is missing.

That missing piece is having a right relationship with God.

A challenge
Girlfriends, I challenge you, just like I am challenging my Journey Group girls, to write out your 60-second testimony.

You read that right. One minute to tell your story. Not five.

The 60-Second Testimony exercise will equip you to tell a brief, attractive story about how and why you became a follower of Jesus. Keep in mind, this exercise is about your own personal journey to faith, and not a theological defense of the Gospel.

Take your time brainstorming. Keep it simple–a few points at most–and then share it with your husband and a few close friends who can give their feedback on it. (Hint, hint. You can even share it with me. I’d love to hear your testimony!)

Then practice it so that you can share it comfortably in a natural, relaxed way. Please be transparent and real with people. We are all sinners. None of us has it all together. And we all need Jesus!

Sum it up
Maybe the following example will help you with writing your own 60-second testimony. Note the three sections:

  1. The speaker starts by talking about his life before becoming a Christian. 
  2. He tells how he became a Christian. Note that he includes a simple explanation of the Gospel (in bold below). 
  3. He describes how his life has changed since becoming a Christian.

I was born and raised in a family that assumed they were Christians. So, as I grew up I assumed that I was a Christian as well, though later I came to think differently.

I met a group of students who were living a life that was different than mine. I went to church like they did, but they didn’t talk about church and religion as much as they talked about a relationship with God that could be found through the person of Jesus Christ. I began to investigate by attending church and other activities with them to learn more about what they were talking about. There I began to understand what is called the Gospel, the good news that Christ did for us what we can’t do for ourselves. He died to pay the penalty that needed to be paid for my own sins, so that by receiving Him, I could have new life and a new relationship with God. I came to the place where my heart was surrendered to Him and I began to follow Him.

Right away I noticed a change within my life, like peace that I hadn’t known before and a new hope about life. I knew I was a different person and gained an assurance that if I died I would be okay with God. My life began growing and changing from that point on.

It only takes a minute
Friends, if I can do it, you can too! If you’re still not sure, check out my 60-second testimony on YouTube. It’s nothing professional–just a “selfie” video I did one Sunday afternoon by our neighborhood lake last year.


Okay, so maybe you’re thinking, “How silly of her!”

But who knows? Somebody may stumble upon it and hear something that gives them hope to look to the only One that can truly give hope: Jesus!

I’m not a preacher girl, and you probably aren’t either. But we’re all called to be ready to give an account of the hope that we have.

Are you ready?

Want to know more?
XPRESS Your Faith is a method of effectively sharing your faith developed by Randy Pope, lead teaching pastor of Perimeter Church. The conference is coming up March 7-8. You will learn the tools of sharing the Gospel with friends and family in a non-threatening and effective way. Participants find it easy to learn and apply to everyday situations. Click here to find out more or to sign up.


b_ginnyGinny and her husband Lee have been married for 26 years and have three children, ages 23, 20, and 17. She’s spent half her life–25 years–as a member at ECPC. She applied to go into space with the Teachers in Space Project while she was doing her student teaching, but God spared her that ill-fated trip and led her into a career as a P.E. teacher before she became a full-time mom.

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