THIS IS MY story.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
In 1 Peter 3:15, it says;
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Your stories are the best way to be prepared to explain the hope that you have.
Telling our stories is one of the most simple and powerful ways to share who God is and why we put our faith in Him. Whether it’s the story of how you came to follow Jesus, or of a way that God has helped you grow; telling your stories will become easier with time and practice.
We know we should tell our story of faith, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t. Maybe its…
- Fear of rejection
- Awkwardness of spiritual conversations with those who believe differently from us
- Anxiety of being asked questions we can’t answer
- Feeling to busy to get involved in someone’s life
- Worry about whether our lives match up to “Christian” standards
- Having no real relationships with people outside our faith
Believe it or not, God has actually equipped us perfectly to share our story with others. If you are a Christian, you have a story and God has place you where you are to share that story for His purpose and plans. In the next few days, we’ll discover how Jesus has given each of us a unique story… and opportunity …to make an impact. You may not like where you live, or think there’s nothing important about your job, the school or neighborhood you are in… but the reality is that God has strategically placed you there to have an impact. Nearly every person who did something noteworthy in the Bible probably had feelings of randomness, isolation or insecurity. Yet God used all of them to have an impact spiritually in the very places He set them.
It’s the same for you. God has set you right where you are for a reason.
There is another person who won’t think you are randomly placed: the person you impact. Whether you know it or not, the people you come into contact with are impacted by the way you think, live and believe. What may feel insignificant to you may be the most important interaction, investment or impact that could ever happen to them. Every person in the world has a sphere of influence.
God wants to work with you to preserve what is good, heal what is broken and to write a new chapter in the lives of those in your world.
One important thing for us to remember is that we don’t share our stories to make ourselves look good. None of us want to look like we think we’ve got it all figured out! We share our stories because we want to tell people about how God has shown up in our lives! While we are one of the main characters in our stories, the main character is always God and we always want to point people to Him.
The steps that follow are only provided to help you start the process of telling your story.
It isn’t necessarily the right way, best way, or only way—it’s just a way.
Step 1: Understand who your audience is.
You have to ask yourself; who am I telling this story to?
You may tell your story differently to someone that isn’t sure if they believe in God than you would to someone who has been following Jesus for many years.
Don’t worry about telling it “perfectly.”
The number one goal in storytelling is to connect with the audience; with the people that are listening.
Step 2: Identify the story you want to tell and why.
While your whole life is a story, it is made up of many, many smaller stories. When we try to tell multiple stories at once the story can become unclear, so it’s important to choose just one to focus on.
Why are you telling this story?
There can be many possible reasons for why you would share any story, but just choose one to focus on.
Step 3: Share your story.
By this point in the process, you’ve put in lots of work, but reviewing and understanding the tips in this step are critical. Here’s how to make the most of sharing your story.
This is obvious, but we can get so consumed in the task of writing and figuring out what story to share, that we forget to take time to pray.
Invite others to pray
Be a team player. Ask at least 2-3 others to pray for you while you prepare and when you share.
Check your motives
Are you sharing your story because you want to be in front of a crowd or because God has changed your life?
As we tell your story to others, it’s important to remember it’s not about us. It’s not about how we have changed exclusively, but more-so how God changed us. When we tell our story, we tell the story of God.
Watch your language.
Who’s in the crowd? Are you speaking to mostly Christians, new followers, friends without faith or a mix? Be sure to use language that your listeners will understand. Avoid church lingo like “saved,” “re-dedicate,” “invite Jesus in your heart.” What do those words really mean, especially to a non-Christian?
How do you feel about telling your story?
Write a prayer telling God your response to writing, reading or realizing your story.
Whether you tell your story in front of a small or large group, or simply one-on-one with a friend, recognize that you’re living out the command from 1 Peter 3:15.
The Christian life is personal, but not necessarily private. In both joy and sorrow, we sometimes need to be alone and other times need to be with people. God calls us to seasons of solitude and seasons of community. As this study draws to a close, may we have the courage to seek both.
May this journey through Story (both His and yours) grant us the freedom to mourn our losses and celebrate our joys, both publicly and privately. God is faithful…He is with us.
Lean on Christ and His church. He promised to give us rest and to be our joy.
We’re excited for you to tell your story! You can share your story online at firstchristian.com/story!
Originally published January 26, 2019 on firstchristian.com. © 2019 First Christian Church.