All Campuses  |  Published on December 31, 1969

Overview

Personal Testimony Worksheet

How do you feel when someone tells you to share your testimony? The majority of us panic and become anxious. Christians have developed a fear of sharing their testimony out of a fear that others will judge us and scrutinize our lives or fall in the other extreme where we believe our story is simply not powerful.

Christians often believe testimony only refers to the first moment they became saved. However, the word today is used to describe the story of the ways God has worked in our lives and how we’ve grown since we first accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

The idea of testimony can be seen throughout the Bible. In Mark 5:19, Jesus told Legion to go home and tell others about how God took away his demons and restored his testimony. David proclaimed God’s faithfulness, majesty and righteousness throughout the Psalms, including in praise psalms like Psalm 146:

Hallelujah!
My soul, praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing to my God as long as I live.

Do not trust in nobles,
in a son of man,[a] who cannot save.
When his breath[b] leaves him,
he returns to the ground;
on that day his plans die.

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in them.
He remains faithful forever,
executing justice for the exploited
and giving food to the hungry.
The Lord frees prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord raises up those who are oppressed.[c]
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord protects resident aliens
and helps the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Lord reigns forever;
Zion, your God reigns for all generations.
Hallelujah! -Psalm 146

Testimonies encourage others in their faith, and that is why it is highly crucial for Christians to share their testimony, even if they are new believers. You never know how sharing about your experiences can help others facing the same obstacles, or how the new person you’ve become can inspire others who seek to discover the God that completely changed you.

On the trip you are attending, it is important to be prepared at all times to share your testimony or “story” because you never know when an opportunity will present itself. We would like for you to write out your 3-5 minute spoken testimony. This will be shared with your trip leader and team so that you can get to know each other and grow as a team before you leave.

Spiritual Gifts Test

God wants us to be involved with His work. He is so gracious that by the Holy Spirit, He freely distributes spiritual gifts to all who are saved. He not only wants us to know our spiritual gifts, but He expects us to grow in them each day.

1st Corinthians 12 makes it clear that God intentionally gave believers different gifts and made us mutually interdependent. Not only are the gifts of the leaders essential to healthy spiritual growth, but also each part of the church, each member, must fulfill his or her role for any of us to grow up into Christ.

Visit freeshapetest.com to take your Spiritual Gifts test. Read over your results and then write out your top 3 gifts to share with your team and team leader at the next meeting.

Learning about your team’s results will help your trip leader to better develop the team further and delegate different parts of the trip to different team members.

Importance of a Unified Team

Team building is an important step that needs to begin before leaving on your trip. Planning times for the team to encourage one another and spending time in prayer needs to be a priority

It’s also crucial we respect the objectives of the missionaries on the field and submit to the leadership of your team leader/s. Team unity is not only the responsibility of the leader, but also of each team member on the team.

Team unity begins when we apply the words of Paul in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”

Keep in mind during the trip you may face some challenging circumstances and unplanned obstacles. Strive to develop the attitude of Christ that Paul describes.

A few ways to build a unified team:

  • Be Fluid – This is different than being flexible. Flexibility only bends so far, while a fluid person goes with the flow, adjusts, follows the Spirit, and has a positive attitude.
  • Be Punctual – Leaders understand this principle: “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late.” Be respectful to team members and others by arriving on time and fulfilling the assigned tasks promptly. Obviously things happen beyond our control – if it does, inform leaders and team members as soon as possible.
  • Kind Speech – Ephesians 4:29 says, “No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Practice patience with one another and speak words to build each other up.
  • Pray – James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” Spend time in prayer each day for other members of your team.
  • Celebrate – Rejoice in what God is doing. Have a time each day on your trip where everyone shares how they experienced God and celebrate with one another. It is a joy to be used by God and see Him changing lives and blessing others.

Theological Reflection

“It seems like a good thing to do.”
“My friend talked me into going with them.”
“I’ve never been there, it looks fun.”
“It’s this what Christians are supposed to do?”

All of these are reasons that people often give when asked why they are going on a short-term mission trip. Even while these may genuinely be your reason for signing up, there is a bigger picture that is important to understand. Whether you are preparing for a short-term trip with a focus of evangelism, discipleship training, leadership development, or missionary care, the theological basis for it is the same.

We would like to share with you some Core Missiological Convictions as to why obeying God’s command and being a missionary, even on a short-term team, is vital.
(Source: Foundations, IMB)

God is our supreme passion and His glory is our ultimate motivation.

  • This is the first and most important of our missiological convictions. Real Christianity is God-centered (Colossians 1:18). Real Christianity recognizes, as Jesus Himself said, that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Those who have glimpsed the greatness, the majesty, and the excellence of our triune God through the eyes of trust in Jesus never get over that vision (Philippians 3:8). An obsession with God and His glory is the hallmark of true knowledge of God.
  • If the glory of God is our ultimate motivation, this will define both the goal of our task and the manner in which we pursue that task. The goal of our task is that the earth be filled with the knowledge of His glory as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Our passion is to see Him receive the glory that is due His name from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Psalm 96:1-9). Everything we do in missions is a means to that end. The task is not about us, and it’s not even ultimately about the nations. The focus is on Him (Isaiah 48:9-11).

The Word of God is our ultimate, controlling authority.

  • The Bible is true. It is the very words of a God who cannot lie and who is never mistaken. God has said it, and that settles it. (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 119:160, John 17:17)
  • The Bible is clear in everything we need to know. People sometimes complain that the Bible is hard to understand, but the problem is more often reluctance to obey. (Psalm 119:99, 104, 130; Proverbs 2:6; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16)
  • The Bible is sufficient. We do not need to look outside the Bible to learn who God is, or how to be saved, or how to live as a Christian or serve God in the ministries He has given us. In particular, in the great work of global evangelization, we do not need any source other than the Bible to shape and determine our strategies. (Psalm 199:98-100, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • The Bible is authoritative. It is the very Word of God, so it carries the authority of God Himself, and God is the sovereign king of heaven and earth. Therefore, we must approach the Bible with a recommitment to trust and obey everything it teaches us. (Deuteronomy 12:28, 13:4; 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 5:29)

The Spirit of God is our guide.

  • We believe that God has given His Holy Spirit to everyone who trusts in Jesus as Savior and Lord. It is the Holy Spirit who gives believers spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ, and who empowers their service in the church and in the world (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
  • Apart from the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, there can be no Christian life and no Christian ministry or mission.

Prayer is central to our strategy.

  • Jesus commanded us to pray for laborers for the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). The early church prayed for evangelistic boldness in the face of persecution (Acts 4:28). The apostle Paul requested prayer for his own evangelistic witness (Ephesians 6:18-19).
  • We are unashamedly super-naturalist in our worldview, and we believe God works supernaturally through our praying.

Salvation from sin is the greatest need of every human being.

  • The world is full of need, and people who are filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ are drawn to meet needs wherever they find them. Because the vastness of human suffering tugs us in so many directions, it is necessary for us to identify the greatest need of humanity, and to keep that need in its proper place of priority. The greatest need of every human being is salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

The Great Commission commands us to make disciples.

  • The Bible never envisions evangelism that simply results in converts. The destiny of every believer in Jesus is to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). The central command of the Great Commission is to make disciples, which means that the task of missions is to make lifelong learners/followers of Jesus who progressively put sin to death (Romans 6:1-23;8:13) and who clothe themselves in the character of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:1-17, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 1:16).
  • Evangelistic campaigns, while good, are never enough. Biblical missions always includes intentional strategies and diligent work to nurture new believers into the image of Christ. This includes six transformations: transformed heart, mind, affections, will, relationships, and purpose. This lifelong process is never complete until we see Jesus face to face (1 John 1:8-10, 3:2-3).

Making disciples means planting healthy churches.

  • Local churches are incredibly valuable in the sight of God. Scripture calls local churches the household of God (1 Timothy 3:16), the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). and the pillar and buttress of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
  • Although a number of different settings can contribute to a believer’s spiritual growth, the full measure of biblical discipleship happens in a local church.
  • 1st Corinthians 12 makes it clear that God intentionally gave believers different gifts and made us mutually interdependent. Not only are the gifts of the leaders essential to healthy spiritual growth, but also each part of the church, each member, must fulfill his or her role for any of us to grow up into Christ.
    This has four implications for our missiology:

    1. Since missionaries themselves are disciples of Jesus who cross barriers to make other disciples for Jesus, missionary training should be rooted in healthy local churches.
    2. When we make disciples where there are no churches, the task necessarily includes church planting.
    3. The most effective way to advance the gospel into the unreached world is to plant churches that multiply churches.
    4. Discipleship requires churches in which each part, each member, works properly, so our aim must be healthy churches that exhibit the characteristics of a biblical church.

We are committed to Biblical contextualization and indigenization.

  • The gospel is not tied to any culture, including our own, and it can make itself at home in any culture, while challenging and transforming every culture. Our goal is not to turn people from other cultures into North American Christians, but rather to allow the Holy Spirit to transform them into biblically faithful Christians within their home culture. Our goal is also not to create dependence on any foreign source, but rather to raise-up disciples and churches that are self-theologizing, while remaining healthy and biblical. This has implications for how we work as missionaries, for the gospel message we proclaim, and for the churches we plant.
  • The church should look, sound, and feel local, not foreign.

Our priority: Reaching unreached people groups and places with the Gospel

  • The theme of God’s heart for people groups and nations runs from Genesis to Revelation. God has made it clear in His word that He intends to bring the blessings of His salvation to every people group on earth (Genesis 12:1-3, Psalm 66, Isaiah 49:6, Matthew 28:16-20, Luke 24:45-47, Acts 1:8, Romans 15:20-21. Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 7:9-10, among many others). Along with this pervasive theme of God’s plan for people groups, the book of Acts and the clear ambition of Paul also stress taking the gospel to places where Christ is not yet known.

Our goals: Setting them for ourselves, not for God.

  • We plant and water, but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:1-7). Just as the apostle Paul saw differing levels of response in different locations (Acts 17:32-34), we do not know before we begin our work how many people will believe or how many churches we may plant. We cannot set goals forGod, so it is inappropriate for us to set numerical goals for things that only He can do. However, it is completely appropriate for us to set goals for what we intend to do.
  • We should set goals for our own activities in entry, evangelism, disciple making, healthy church formation, leadership development and exit.

Historical Analysis by Country

Share and Discuss