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How to Prepare a 15-Second Message

by Marilyn Adamson, director of EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com

I’m sure you’ve noticed that life has gotten faster. Conversations have gotten shorter. Sometimes just one sentence posts. 140 characters. Fast comments.

Even in person, there can be a feeling of rush. Quick conversations with others.

We might have an opportunity to briefly say something about God and hand them a card to EveryStudent.com, so they can check out their questions on their own.

I often tell people, “I’m connected to a website that takes on the hard questions about life and God…like why is life so hard? and evidence for God’s existence.” That often opens conversations right there.

But today, I want to help you see a way to tell your life experience with God in about 15 seconds.

Why? Because that might be all the time you have, or should take, to be polite. It also is “salty.” You give someone a little bit, and they can ask for more.

In the Christian organization I’m with, called Cru, we train Christians to prepare a 3-minute testimony. We tell them to construct it in three parts:

   – what your life was like before knowing Jesus
   – how you came to know Jesus
   – how he has changed your life

It’s great if you are standing at a podium at an outreach event or in a church. But in a grocery store or on the subway, 3 minutes is WAY too long. The other person would be looking for an exit, quickly!

So I’d like to encourage you to see if you can tell someone your life story in about four sentences.

It really is possible! A gentleman on a flight asked about my work. After I told him about EveryStudent.com, he asked me, “Huh. How did you get into that?” Here’s what I told him:

“I was an atheist, but became friends with a Christian whose life I really admired. I questioned her for over a year. She provided evidence for God that became so weighty, I asked God into my life and he changed my life in significant ways.”

That took me about 15 seconds to say.

So there’s a challenge for you!! What could you say in about four sentences? Either how you can to know God or what it has meant to you to know him.

To get you thinking, here are possibilities….

“I struggled for a long time to find a sense of purpose in my life. Nothing seemed to fill that in a lasting way. Then I learned how I could know God, who created me, and my life took on way more meaning.”

“I used to think that God was out there somewhere, but I never knew if he heard my prayers, or cared. He seemed silent. A friend told me how I could know God in a personal way, and now I see him answer me on a regular basis.”

“When I get weighed down by the sadness in life…horrible things you see on the news, for example. I find that when I go to the Bible, God shows me his perspective. He seems to always lift the sadness and give me energy to help others. God says he will be our refuge and strength and I see him do that.”

Ask God to give you a message that you’re ready to share with others. Maybe a verse of Scripture that you especially like. 15 seconds. Jesus says we are salt, to help people be thirsty for him. And light to others, so they might know the light of the world!