THIS IS MY story.
God is the Great Engineer, creating circumstances to bring about moments in our lives of divine importance, leading us to divine appointments.”
How to tell your story (and why it matters)
Telling our stories is an important part of what God wants us to do. In Psalms 107:2 it says;
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.”
God’s story is revealed in countless ways but His most beautiful work is revealed in YOU.
Our stories of victory, strength, and faith need to be told to encourage others, and at the same time our stories of pain, difficulty, and struggle need to be shared, too. We are real people with real problems, but we believe in a real God. When we share the gritty, painful stories that may not have a pretty bow on them, we communicate to the people around us that our God is with us in the pain; He meets us there and guides us through the realities of life.
Choosing to look at the hard parts of your story may reopen wounds of betrayal, heartache or failure. But doing so brings us face to face with the hope of what lies on the other side: intimacy with God and others. Pay special attention to the heartland and hope that is woven into your story. To know your story is to know the story of God’s attentive care and authorship.
Prepare your story—some questions to get you thinking.
[My salvation story = BEFORE + HOW + AFTER]
BEFORE you began to follow Jesus.
- What issues did you wrestle with?
- What were your thoughts about Christians, God, the Bible, and church?
- What were you doing with your life?
HOW you began to follow Jesus.
This part is critical because others need to know that it’s natural to develop a relationship with Jesus. They need to realize that they don’t need money, a perfect past, or follow a dress code in order to trust Jesus.
- Who told you about Jesus?
- What were you thinking or feeling?
- How did you respond?
AFTER putting your faith in Jesus.
Important: Be honest! Don’t think you have to make your life look neat and pretty. You won’t hurt Jesus’ reputation if you admit you still struggle. Even in the midst of your struggles, Jesus can teach you incredible things, so share what you’ve learned and where you hope to be as you follow Jesus every day.
[My growth story = ISSUE + LESSON + RESPONSE]
- What ISSUE or QUESTION have you been struggling with?
- What’s been going on in your life that God is using to challenge or stretch you?
- In what ways have you been struggling in your walk with Christ?
- What LESSON did you learn from your issue/question?
- What insight from the Bible did God give you, or what friend encouraged you?
- What have you learned or in what way have you grown since the issue/question first presented itself?
- What RESPONSE is God calling for?
- If there was a definite lesson God taught you, how does he want you to live now?
- If there hasn’t been an answer yet, how do you want others to pray for you?
Use the statements below for ideas to get you started.
They’re only there to guide you, so don’t feel limited by them or required to use them.
As you prepare, simply recount the events and/or circumstances that caused you to reconsider your strategies or consider Christ as the solution. Take time to identify the process that brought you to the point of decision. If you haven’t yet considered or committed your life to Christ, examine where you are and what questions you may still have as you reflect.
Write down the changes you’ve experienced or attempted in your life since your discovery.
Take as much time and space as needed, and don’t reject any feelings or emotions that come up. You may want to consider these questions as you write your story:
- How have your thoughts, attitudes or emotions changed?
- What has changed in your relationship(s)?
- How does your faith affect your current hopes and dreams?
- Where do you see yourself as part of God’s plan for your future? For others’?
If this part of your story is incomplete, spend time praying about it. Ask God to reveal more of His plan for the next chapter in your life—the one yet to be written—and journal your insights/response.
Are you unsure what story you want to tell?
If you don’t know what story you want to tell, consider these questions:
- What is something you experienced in your life that either helped or challenged your spiritual journey?
- Was there ever a time you doubted God, or a time when you wanted more of God in your life? What did you do, and how did God respond?
- Was there a particular event or experience that gave you a deeper understanding of who God is, or a deeper sense of who he made you to be? Explain that journey.
- Has there been a specific way that God has blessed you, or a difficult season that you experienced His faithfulness?
Originally published January 19, 2019 on firstchristian.com. © 2019 First Christian Church.