About the 4 Steps to Sharing Your Testimony
And it came to pass, as I was going, and drawing nigh to Damascus at midday, that suddenly from heaven there shone round about me a great light: And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. – Acts 22:6-8 Douay Rheims Bible
In this month’s episode of New Age To Catholic I talk about the 4 steps to sharing your testimony used by St. Paul in Acts 22:1-21 and how you can use this same approach. I also give examples of how I’ve applied these 4 steps in sharing my story and how you can adapt them to yours.
The 4 steps can be adapted to a conversion, reversion or even a recommitment to the Faith experience.
Learning about the 4 steps to sharing your testimony was timely for me because I am currently writing a short testimony about my experience in the New Age and occult and my eventual return to the Catholic Faith. I used the 4 steps to structure my ebook but you can use them for a video, podcast, speech or informal talk.
The four areas St. Paul covered in his Acts 22 testimony are listed below. In the section after that, I share how I applied them to my ebook. I also talk about the 3 reasons why you should share your testimony of faith!
The 4 Steps to Sharing Your Testimony (St. Paul 22:1-21)
- A life history. Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye the account which I now give unto you. (And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence.) And he saith: I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous for the law, as also all you are this day… (Acts 22:1-3)
- The way a person lived before coming to the faith. …who persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the ancients: from whom also receiving letters to the brethren, I went to Damascus, that I might bring them bound from thence to Jerusalem to be punished. (Acts 22:4,5)
- Coming to know Jesus / the conversion experience. And it came to pass, as I was going, and drawing nigh to Damascus at midday, that suddenly from heaven there shone round about me a great light: And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me, saw indeed the light, but they heard not the voice of him that spoke with me. And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise, and go to Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things that thou must do. And whereas I did not see for the brightness of that light, being led by the hand by my companions, I came to Damascus. And one Ananias, a man according to the law, having testimony of all the Jews who dwelt there, Coming to me, and standing by me, said to me: Brother Saul, look up. And I the same hour looked upon him. But he said: The God of our fathers hath preordained thee that thou shouldst know his will, and see the Just One, and shouldst hear the voice from his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness to all men, of those things which thou hast seen and heard. (Acts 22:6-15)
- Our new life in Christ. And now why tarriest thou? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, invoking his name. And it came to pass, when I was come again to Jerusalem, and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, And saw him saying unto me: Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; because they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said: Lord, they know that I cast into prison, and beat in every synagogue, them that believed in thee. And when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I stood by and consented, and kept the garments of them that killed him. And he said to me: Go, for unto the Gentiles afar off, will I send thee. (Acts 22:16-21)
The 4 Steps to Sharing Your Testimony (my application)
- A life history. In imitation of the Apostle, I start my testimony with a short history of my early life. Like Paul I try to stick with what’s relevant to my story and theme. Notice that Paul doesn’t talk about his childhood friends or the time he got lost in the market when he was a kid. He shares the facts of his early life that are relevant to his audience and conversion. Because my testimony is about my involvement in the occult, I talk about how the absence of religion in my home and the influence of the occultism and feminism affected me.
- The way a person lived before coming to the faith. Again this info should be relevant to the theme of your story. You don’t need to give every significant experience of your life but should try to focus on those that are relevant to your them and led up to your conversion. In my testimony, I talk about how the New Age and occult influenced me and how I went on to influence others. This includes info on my specific involvement in divination, demonic interference, New Age teachings, spirit guides, mediumship, goddess worship, witchcraft, and ufology. I didn’t persecute believer’s like Paul did but I did influence people through my media, classes and card readings.
- Coming to know Jesus / the conversion experience. St. Paul’s conversion was a dramatic event that began on the road to Damascus and ended with a miraculous healing. For most of us, however, conversion is a process. And for me, it was more of a process, I think, than for most. In this part of the ebook, I talk about realizing the demonic nature of the New Age and occult, rediscovering Christianity, my trip to Israel, how God moved in my life, and my eventual return to the Catholic Faith.
- Our new life in Christ. The focus in this part of the book is on what I now know to be true and how I live out my faith as a traditional Catholic. Because of my deep dive into the occult, spiritual warfare is part of my life, so I plan to include some basic spiritual warfare measures, which have worked for me.
Why Share Your Testimony?
- Because someone might need to hear it! Whatever your sin may be, there are people out there who are struggling with something similar. And you (and your story) may touch them in a way that no one else can. You could even bring someone to (or back to) the Faith. And this is a big – bigger than commercial success or what your friends think or just about anything really.
- There are other people who will be inspired by your courage. Don’t be surprised if simple fact that you have shared your testimony helps others decide that if you can do it, they can too. Patricia Sandoval, author of Transfigured: Patricia Sandoval’s Escape from Drugs, Homelessness, and the Back Doors of Planned Parenthood (affiliate link); and Moira Noonan author of Ransomed from Darkness: The New Age Christian Faith and the Battle for Souls (affiliate link) have both inspired me this way!
- Last, but never least, we honor God by witnessing about what He has done in our lives!
I believe that everyone has a story and that we should all be sharing it. Whether you share your testimony in a book, a podcast, on YouTube, with your Church family, with a friend or with a total stranger, I encourage you to find your voice and do it.
For more on my upcoming testimony ebook please see my ebooks page.
Please also note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase using one of my links I may get a small commission at no cost to you.