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The Testimonial: Write a Letter of Reference that Oozes Credibility 

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

She has been helpful to many, and especially to me. (Romans 16:2, NLT)

A Word For Writers

The first time I was asked to write a letter of reference, I wasn’t sure where to begin. 

The Testimonial: write a letter of reference that's credible with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter. An online devotional for writers based on Rom 16:2 #WritingTips #ChristianWritingResources

I found a neat little template tucked away in the very last chapter of the book of Romans. There, Paul introduces Phoebe, whom he had chosen to deliver the monumental letter to the Christians at Rome:  

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.” (Romans 16:1-2, NLT, italics mine.)

Paul’s clever introduction provides a tidy 3-point outline you can use anytime you write a letter of reference:

  • Share the candidate’s qualifications (she “is a deacon in the church”).
  • Share your recommendation for the candidate (“welcome her” and “help her”).
  • Share your personal testimonial about the candidate (“she is worthy of honor … she has been helpful to many, especially to me”).

Your firsthand experience oozes authenticity. That’s why of the three elements you include when you write a letter of reference, your personal testimonial carries the most weight. Make sure you explain what the candidate has meant to you personally. 

Paul did. Just in case his introduction did not give Phoebe enough credibility in the eyes of the Romans, Paul included a testimonial on her behalf.

A Wise Word

   Your personal testimonial carries weight.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

Allow me to clearly see others’ strengths. Let me verbalize what is excellent and worthy of praise as I write a letter of reference.

In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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