Our lives are so many stories. As a Christian, the best story you can tell is how you found your faith. However, as with any story, you need to have some structure to properly make your profession of faith.
Part 1 of 4: What to do before you start
Step 1. Pray
Your profession of faith can be an effective tool in explaining your faith to non-believers. Since the main goal is to honor God and make His kingdom, praying to His Holy Spirit seems like the logical first step in writing your profession of faith.
Step 2. Read someone else's profession of faith
This will give you an idea of the topics to be covered. You can choose to read a contemporary profession of faith or a profession of faith from the Bible.
- One of the best examples in the Bible is Paul's profession of faith. You will find it in Acts 22 and 26.
- Also try to remember the professions of faith that you have heard or read during your life and which have marked you. Try to remember the details of these professions and ask yourself why they marked you so much.
Step 3. Think about your past
Specifically, think about the life you had before you met Christ. Ask yourself what questions and what arguments will make people adhere to the Christian faith. Try to incorporate all of these elements into your profession of faith.
Specifically, ask yourself what obstacles you have overcome and how you felt when you were alone, facing yourself. Try to remember what made you want to change and what attempts you made to change before you converted
Step 4. Make a plan
Before you start writing, it's always a good idea to make an outline that summarizes the major parts of your profession of faith. Usually, a profession is divided into three main parts: your life before you see the light, your decision to convert, and your new life after conversion.
Part 2 of 4: Define the problem
Step 1. Explain your past
This is the first part of your profession of faith. It should describe your life before you accept Christ. Bring the negative aspects to the fore. Even if your life was comfortable (which you can mention), convey the idea that there was a great void in your life. To get this idea across, you need to highlight what you lacked and your temptations to sin.
Talk about the details and avoid bringing up general situations. Instead of saying "from a material point of view, I was rich, but not from a spiritual point of view", to explain that you were well-off, say instead "I was at the head of a large company. with a six-figure salary. Then to say that there was really a problem: "I was so cruel that my family left me. I felt so empty that I started drinking every night. "
Step 2. Highlight the moment when everything changed
As we say "the calm before the storm." If you hit rock bottom before converting, describe that period in detail. Describe it as vividly as possible.
If you haven't had a particularly difficult time before turning to Christ, that's fine. Don't make up horrific circumstances to make your story more dramatic. Simply describe your past life as clearly as possible, giving all the details of your unhappiness and your desire for change. From there, swipe to your conversion story
Part 3 of 4: Describe the solution
Step 1. Talk about the exact time of your conversion
This is the high point of your profession of faith, so you need to be specific. Describe the specific time when you let Christ be a part of your life. You don't need to describe this episode in mystical or romantic terms. On the contrary, describe the event in all simplicity, giving the time and day.
- The moment of your conversion should be the ending point in your life story. Until then, you have described your life as lacking in meaning, hope, joy, in short, meaning. As you initiate your conversion, you need to make it clear that “suddenly this happened and it made my life so much better. The whole emotional register of your profession of faith must switch at this time: you go from sadness to joy.
- As with the "before" part of your story, you need to be specific when describing the details of your conversion. Talk about events, places and people. If it was your cousin Benjamin, you saw at the supermarket, or your friend Suzanne, lost to follow-up, but met at a parent-teacher meeting, who introduced you to the Christian religion, tell these stories. Avoid vague accounts like “One fine day, a distant cousin invited me to church. "
Step 2. Focus on Jesus
Remember that your profession of faith must be the story of your redemption thanks to God. So do not express yourself in a way that makes it clear that you saved yourself on your own.
In general, avoid talking about your "goodness" before your conversion and the "holiness" of all your actions after your conversion. Always ask yourself if what you are writing is to the glory of God or to your glory. If in some sentences you boast more than God, erase them
Step 3. Talk about your current situation
To show how beneficial your conversion was, you need to convey to readers or listeners that your life has improved since you first embraced the Christian faith. You can talk about the challenges you still face, but keep your tone generally positive.
Describe any specific changes that have taken place in your life as a result of Christ's influence. Explain how your sources of motivation have changed
Part 4 of 4: improve writing
Step 1. Keep it short
In truth, your whole life story should become a profession of faith form, but you should not include too much information in a profession of faith that you are going to share with unbelievers. Try to be about 500 words long, with a margin of about 100 words. You don't have to be exactly 500 words, of course, but that's an order of magnitude to keep in mind as you write.
Another way to approach the length of your profession is to ask yourself how long it takes to read it. Aim for 3 minutes. Shorter and there will not be enough detail, longer, you risk lulling your reader or listener
Step 2. Use non-believer jargon
Specifically, use words that everyone can understand. Avoid using terms that are too associated with the Christian religion and which will only be understood by believers. If you use too much Christian jargon, non-Christians may lose track of your story.
- The terms "Christians" do not have to be complicated words. On the contrary, these are often words that you have started to use on a daily basis and that you will have to be careful to erase from your profession of faith.
- Among these terms, you have notably: "rebirth", "saved", "lost", "gospel", "sin", "repent", "converted" and "condemned".
- You can use these terms, but if you do, explain them. Sometimes it is easier to replace the term with its definition. For example, instead of saying "lost", say instead that your life was "on a bad road" or that you were "far from God". Instead of saying you experienced a “rebirth,” use more meaningful terms like “a spiritual birth” or “spiritual renewal. "
Step 3. Avoid expressions
This is particularly important if your profession of faith is going to be read or heard by people who do not have French as their mother tongue. Expressions are difficult to translate and even more difficult to transpose from culture to culture, so you may not be understood if you overdo it.
- Even if your profession of faith is intended for a native French-speaking audience, still be careful not to use too many expressions. Indeed, when we use a lot of expressions, we tend to forget details or precise information that it would have been more interesting to express to be understood. Think about this example: Does saying "I was completely out west" convey the message of a meaningless life better than a detailed description of a goalless career, a broken family and selfish choices?
- "No one cared" or "God turned my mind" are examples of idioms. Instead, say, “I felt like no one cared about me” or “God taught me the Truth. "
Step 4. Share the teachings of the Bible
Even if you use non-Christian vocabulary, you should still emphasize the paramount importance of God throughout your profession of faith. A good way to do this is to quote the Bible.
Quote a verse or two, at most and always directly related to your personal experience. The Word of God is always a powerful tool, but here it is a question of adapting it to the history which you lived. If you just quote from the Bible, there will be no more room for your own words
Step 5. Don't talk to other people
Your profession of faith is the story between you and God. You can mention the people who have been essential in your connection to God, but any reference to other people should be short and superficial.
You should especially avoid speaking by name of churches or religious orders and never speak ill of a church, a Christian organization or a member of a Christian community
Step 6. Be honest
You may have the impression that your conversion was a rather mundane and boring event. It may make you want to exaggerate certain details to make your story more compelling. Likewise, if your life is not quite on the right track yet, you might be tempted to give it a “cleaner” version. Resist these temptations. Don't lie, even if your intentions are good. Only a 100% authentic and truthful profession of faith can transmit the deep truth of the faith.
Step 7. Write as you speak
Keep your tone relaxed and avoid overly formal formulas. People who read or listen to you need to be able to identify personally with your story. To do this, you need to speak to your readers in a personal way from your first word.