We all have a story. And with the events that transpired on Capitol Hill this week, we all have one more piece to our story that marks a monumental time in human history.
Like the great wars, various attacks on our nation, tragic assassinations and acts of terrorism and other trademarks of human brokenness in years past, people will remember and talk about yesterday’s events for years to come. Without a doubt, like it or not, yesterday is officially part of our story. It’s part of our collective story on a national level, and it’s part of our individual stories on a personal level. You will always remember where you were and what you were doing when you learned of the chaos than ran rampant on our nations capital on January 6, 2021. And while we may wish this wasn’t part of our story, at some point we will share the story of where we were when this travesty transpired. We are story telling people all with a story uniquely, yet collectively marked by HIStory.
The thing about stories is that everyone loves a good story. Regardless of the ending, a good story is one that captivates the heart as much as the mind. The end result of a good story is an emotional response that compels people to action. This is the power of stories. This is why when you discuss the events of this week with folks years from now, their minds will be captivated, their hearts stirred and they’ll gain a deeper sense of appreciation for liberty and justice for all. The events in Washington this week brought tragedy, they brought a story, they brought a learning experience that will compel others to act both now and for generations to come.
Given the power of stories, is it any wonder that Jesus found so much use in telling stories to the people He served? The Gospels are packed with stories told by Jesus that captivated hearts as much as the mind and compelled His listeners to act. To be sure, some of his listeners celebrated Him, and others felt compelled to kill Him. His stories captured minds, stirred hearts and compelled action.
Even as you look at the book of Acts, you see story after story of Paul sharing his story with others. His listeners were captivated, they were motivated and they acted and the first century exploded like dynamite. Fast forward two-thousand years and here we are, a byproduct of stories of old, still telling those stories and now participating in the writing of our own stories while simultaneously sharing them with the world around us.
(You can see me tell my story in the about section of this site.)
In the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the need to Pray for PASSION to share our faith with others and reach those who are far from God. My first encouragement was to begin to PRAY for those far from God. The following week I encouraged everyone to ACKNOWLEDGE those far from God. Last week the encouragement was to SERVE those far from God. And to this point, the hope is that a relationship with those far from God is beginning to take root.
If you haven’t read those previous articles, I encourage you to go back and read through those before taking me up on today’s challenge. The previous challenges lay the foundation for this week’s challenge to be received well by those you’re trying to reach.
If you’ve been tracking along with me in our Pray for PASSION series, here is your next challenge. Your encouragement this week is to simply, clearly and succinctly SHARE your story with those you’ve been praying for. I don’t mean your story of the last few days, but rather, your story of how you came to faith in Jesus Christ.
To do this clearly and succinctly, you’ll want to start by discussing what your life was like before you surrendered to Jesus. You’ll then move to discussing how you came to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Finally, you’ll want to conclude with how your life has changed since getting to know Jesus.
If you struggle to simplify this, here’s a story developing template you might try:
1) Write out two sentences that describe your life before Christ.
2) Write out two sentences that describe how you came to know Christ.
3) Write out two sentences that describe how your life is different since entering into a relationship with Jesus.
As with anything, you might practice telling this story to yourself or to a few trusted folks before moving in to share your story with someone who’s genuinely looking for answers.
If you feel funny about sharing your story with others, that’s probably a result of one of two things:
1) Either you’ve never surrendered to Jesus as Lord, so you just don’t have a story about Him saving you yet. If that’s the case, please let me know! I would be honored to talk to you about this Jesus who knows everything we’ve ever done and chooses to love us anyway. He saved me, and He wants to save you too!
2) If you know you’re saved and this is still awkward for you, that’s probably because you haven’t shared your story very much. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. I know that feeling, and lots of others like us know that feeling.
To be honest though, this is why we need each other to encourage each other to stay proficient in sharing our story with others. The more we share our story, the more confident and fluid our story telling becomes.
As we wrap up this article and you begin praying for an opportunity to share your story with those who are far from God, I want to ask you a question.
If the only thing your loved ones needed before taking Jesus up on His offer of salvation was to hear you tell them the rescue story of how Jesus saved your life, would you share your story with them?
Perhaps that’s all it’s going to take for them, and perhaps not. The only way to really find out though… is to SHARE YOUR STORY.
P-Pray for those far from God.
S-Share your story with them.