The Missionary Outreach Office teamed up with FOCUS missionaries on Feb. 4 to host a workshop to teach Franciscan students how to give an effective testimony.
At the request of Rhett Young, director of Missionary Outreach at Franciscan University, a group of FOCUS missionaries gave a presentation on “How to Give Your Personal Testimony in Under Three Minutes.” The workshop, open to all students, was meant to help those in SENT Ministry and those going on Missions of Peace.
FOCUS missionaries Nathaniel Binversie, Mary Adam, Steven Loya and Erin Sarotte gave practical tips to help students give a powerful personal testimony quickly, in everyday situations on campus and on mission. The missionaries stressed the importance of showing the love of Christ in testimony, so that the seed of the Gospel message can be planted in hearts.
Adam gave the four essential steps of a personal testimony: life before a personal encounter with Christ, a concrete moment of encounter, life transformed by a personal encounter and an invitation or challenge to the listener.
Adam said that most importantly, a testimony should be Christ-centered.
Loya said that it is important to remember that a personal testimony is meant to show Christ’s love, not instantly convert.
“You’re not the savior,” said Loya. “Let Jesus Christ work through you and for you.”
Loya spoke about the importance of building a friendship with the person listening to a testimony. He said it is crucial to love people where they are at and to listen, not just talk.
An important part of giving testimony is challenging people to come to Christ, said Loya, but he continued that whether someone is open to conversion or not, a testimony is “where you really get to love (someone).”
In addition to talks, the workshop included skits by the FOCUS missionaries and time to practice and ask questions.
Binversie addressed a question from the crowd about the best way to invite someone to pray for openness, saying that there is no way to avoid a little awkwardness.
“Eternity is worth the awkward,” said Binversie.
Senior Grant Bright said that he thought the workshop was helpful in learning how to give a testimony.
“(It’s a) very practical way to help Catholics go into the world,” said Bright.
“It was helpful and inspiring,” said junior Leah La Fon. “I’m ready to be sent out and show the love of Jesus Christ.”