Telling Stories, Part One

Monday, April 21, 2008
This is the first time I have partly taught a message and partly blogged the same message...we shall see how it goeth.

Yesterday in Matthews we talked about the spiritual practice of connecting our stories to God's Story so that others are compelled to hook up with the Story as well.

Couldn't do everything I wanted to do in thirty minutes, so promised to add some extra content here, absolutely free of charge, with no obligation to buy anything else. Specifically, I want to focus on how we need to be able to summarize God's story and our stories in a way that is attractive, non-cheesy, and accurate.

First, our own faith stories.

A few things NOT to do:
-Don't be religious or use holyspeak. ("accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior" is nowhere in the Bible, for the record).
-Don't be like a multi-level marketing sales geek ("are you currently satisfied with the level of your spiritual life?".)
-Don't be longwinded.
-Don't be superior.

A few things TO DO:
-Be short (a minute or less, dude).
-Be specific.
-Be honest (not everything is perfect in your life now, so don't even play like it is).
-Be focused on before and after.

This before and after deal is critical. The best way to compel a person to check out Christ is to talk in a relaxed, authentic way about the changes in your life since you met Jesus.

For example...

"I used to be a money-grubbing, Type A, career-focused jerk until I met Christ. Now, I am still Type A and am serious about my work, but my family and friends say that I am a more real, caring, and fun guy".

"I used to really struggle with addictions and hurt a lot of people in my time. Now, I know I will probably always have temptations in the area of ____, but since I decided to become a Christ follower I am finding a whole new approach to quieting that hunger I always had to fight and that I used to mask with ___".

"I used to go from relationship to relationship looking to men/women to make me happy and give me significance. But since I came to understand how much Jesus loves me and what he did to give me significance I am starting to relate to others in a much more healthy way".

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