By Paul Wilkinson

I want to share with you a statement that William Lane Craig made to his Sunday School class about the power of our testimony:

The last night of the conference we had a time that was just the Americans with the students alone. So no Chinese faculty were present. When the faculty are not present, the students really let down their guard and began to open up. We had a panel at the close of the evening in which they could ask anybody on the panel any question they wanted to. The last question that one of the students put to me publicly was “How do you become a Christian?” Now, I know that in this class, David has said over and over again, each one of us needs to be able to give a kind of three-minute testimony of how we came to Christ. I just have to tell you, it is true. It is so true that this is the most powerful witnessing tool that you can have. I’ve been in Christian ministry for thirty years and it is still my simple testimony when I share it that seems to have the most impact. I shared with them about how as a young teenager I came to Christ, I was seeking for meaning and purpose in life and could find none until a girl in my German class shared with me the good news of God’s love. I told about how that had changed my life and now how I was excited to be a Christian philosopher and to be able to come to China and share this good news with them. Immediately at the end the students just all broke out into applause because they were just so thrilled to hear the story. I think they were rather shocked, really, at someone’s being so open and vulnerable to talk about personal, spiritual beliefs and experiences. This is something they are not used to in China. That was the most overtly evangelistic moment of the conference. It was just a tremendous privilege to be there and to be able to share that with these students.*

Here’s Dr. Craig with his PhD in Theology and his PhD in Philosophy, his plethora of scholarly articles, all of his books, and all of his debates, widely considered the best Christian apologist alive today, and he says explicitly that his testimony is his most powerful resource.
Almost all apologists refer to 1 Peter 3:15 as a foundational passage for the discipline of apologetics, “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” While we certainly can use that verse as justification for apologetics, in light of the fact that Peter was writing to the persecuted Asian churches, I think that he had the resurrection in mind and how the resurrection has changed the lives of Christians. If the Bible commands us to be ready with our testimony and someone of Craig’s intellectual status claims it as his most powerful tool, then we must model sharing our testimony with our classes and we must encourage them to be bold in their sharing of it.
What are some simple steps for incorporating testimony in your classes?

  1. Who were you before you were a Christian?
    1. What was your life like? What were you longing for or missing? How did you think about the world and your purpose in it?
  2. How did you become a Christian?
    1. Be explicit and specific. Was there a particular moment? Did some crisis send you searching? Did you say a prayer? Was there a spiritual leader with you?
  3. Who are you now?
    1. How has Christ changed your life? How do you see the world now? What is your church experience like (knowing that many claim to reject Christ because of the church)? What does it mean to have God as a father? What does it mean to have a spiritual family?

Encourage your class members to write out their testimony. Consider giving your testimony to the class as a model and then invite others over the subsequent weeks to share their testimonies as well. The Bible teaches that God providentially crosses our paths with individuals (Isaiah 55.5; Acts 17.26-7) and that the Holy Spirit will be with us (John 14.15-31). Instill that confidence into your people. Remember that you have been called out of sin and death, you are salt and light to the culture that God has given you, and that you have the truth and the power of the Spirit. Be bold in sharing what God has done for you and what God longs to do for others.
*Quote from: <>