When Necessary #3 Telling My Story
Me: ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY ACCLAIMED movies of 2014 was Boyhood, which is about a young boy named Mason growing up in Texas in a broken home. By the time Mason is a teenager, his formerly deadbeat dad has turned in a positive direction and now has a new wife and baby. For Mason’s fifteenth birthday, his step-grandparents give him a Bible engraved with his name. He smiles politely and thanks them. In the next scene, you see Mason holding the Bible on his lap unopened as he and his older sister sit in a church—probably for the first time ever—along with the dad, stepmom, and step-grandparents. Later that day, when the conversation turns to the upcoming baptism of his dad’s new baby, Mason asks whether Mason had been baptized when he was a baby. His dad laughs, saying he hadn’t given any thought at all to Mason’s soul back then. It’s obvious that Mason is slightly curious about spiritual things but that his dad is not prepared to have a conversation about God, even when the subject comes up naturally. Mason and his sister, Samantha, both wonder out loud if their dad is now one of those “God people.”
I found myself wanting to contribute some of the plotline. What I desperately wanted the dad to say was that he now was one of God’s people, and that Jesus had made a huge difference in his life. I wanted him to tell his story of redemption—how he used to be an absentee father and broken man but now was becoming the man God wanted him to be. These two adolescent kids saw a stability and joy in their father’s new life that begged for an explanation. Because they had seen so much of his poor parenting and brokenness, they might have been open to hearing about the faith component that had changed him. The love and acceptance they received from the step-grandparents and stepmother (who were obviously Christ followers) had to have made a strong impression on them too. Sadly, the dad let the moment pass. He missed an opportunity to share his faith story. How true is that of so many of us?
"Share the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." - Unknown
The gospel is the story of Jesus. It is the greatest story of all time! I most constantly be aware the second greatest story of all time is the story of how the gospel changed my life. My God story can literally bring life change the people I love. I’ve learned in life that -
I need to invite somebody I love to encounter Someone I love.
I need to start where people are not where I would like for them to be.
We: Let’s face it—people need hope. Broken families. Addictions. Abuse. Absent fathers. Struggling single parents. Failing schools. Violence in the home. Sexual promiscuity. Pornography. Hostile politics. People moving frequently and having no stable community of friends and family. Problems are everywhere, but as followers of Jesus, we can offer hope. We need to share the stories of how God has worked in our lives.
If we have experienced the power of the gospel, the priceless value of our own relationship with God through Jesus, and genuine love for those we know, we will be compelled to share our faith with others. If we believe that Jesus can meet the deepest needs of people we know, isn’t it possible that our simple redemptive story and God’s story can intersect their story?
Draw 3 Circle Intersecting - God’s Story, My Faith Story, People We Love
We need to be intentional about complimenting God’s work around us in moving others to Him. When this happens we must share! Two tips will serve us well.
Know Your Sharing Style
The Serving Style
The Intellectual Style
The Bringing Style
The Testimonial Style
The Literature Style
The Confrontational Style
2. Know Your Faith Story (www.brevardcommunity.org/mystory)
It is unique!
It is personal and easy to understand.
2. It is personal and easy to understand.
You are the authority on it. It’s difficult to argue with.
3. You are the authority on it. It’s difficult to argue with.
People love to hear personal stories and they remember them.
4. People love to hear personal stories and they remember them.
People can relate to it. It builds a relational bridge.
5. People can relate to it. It builds a relational bridge.
God: (Background 1 Peter)
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Ex: Give an answer! This is when it is necessary to use words.
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
Ill: Paul’s Model - On six different occasions () Paul used his faith story to share the Good News with unbelievers. In Paul stood before King Agrippa (), he spoke simply, logically, and clearly about his life before salvation, how he met Christ, and what his life was like after conversion. Paul’s testimony takes three or four minutes to read aloud.
1. WHAT MY LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE I MET CHRIST. v.4-11
Lack of peace Lack of security Fear of death Lack of purpose Something missing Lack of Significance No meaning to life No real friends Desire to be in control No motivation Loneliness
2. HOW I REALIZED I NEEDED CHRIST. v.12-20
3. HOW I COMMITTED MY LIFE TO CHRIST.
4. THE DIFFERENCE IT HAS MADE IN MY LIFE. v.21-23
Ill: My faith story
HOW TO BUILD A RELATIONAL BRIDGE
Step #1: Become aware
18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths.
responsibility and relationships
Step #2: Commit to prayer
Use your list to pray daily for your unsaved friends.
Pray that God will draw them to himself.
Pray that God will remove their spiritual blindness.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will make their heart receptive.
Pray you’ll get the opportunity to share a clear witness.
Pray that God will give you wisdom in what to say.
Pray the Holy Spirit will use the words you say.
Step #3: Show you care
8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
14 days of service handout
14 days of service handout
ü Treat everyone with respect as people, not as “prospects”.
ü Be a genuine friend. Help them in practical ways.
ü Be a good listener. It is a great way to show love.
ü Make service your aim, not recruitment.
ü Invite them into your home.
ü Consciously focus your concern on meeting their needs.
ü Go out of your way to love them until they ask you why.
Accept people as they are without being judgmental.
Step # 4: Be ready to share
Remember the Holy Spirit is using your faith story. You are not doing this on your own.
5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.
21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
Ill: Hiking and lost son