I bet a couple came straight into your head. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Remember the Titans and The Power of One are some of my favourite stories. I re-read them all the time.
Stories are really important, and stories that we tell other people are really important. It shows what kind of things happen to us, what we think is important and what we believe about the world.
Stories are especially important for people who believe in Jesus.
For one thing, Christianity is a story which has been passed down over thousands of years, shared from person to person through re-tellings, writings and illustrations. Christians are a storytelling community.
The ability to share your story has never been more important. We live in a very post-modern world where people distrust grand, all-encompassing stories and they like personal, mini-narratives. We like to talk about what is happening to specific people, rather than what is happening to everyone. That's one of the reasons reality television has exploded, because there are so many personal, specific mini-narratives.
One of my favourite things to do is to sit and listen to people telling their story. Christians have heaps of stories to share, but for whatever reason we sometimes find it really hard to talk about them. I think that's a shame, because our story is really God's story.
I would really, really love to hear your story.
Here are three really awesome ways that Christians can share their stories.
Three Important Stories To Know and Share
Where Have I Come From? [Story]
One of the best stories you can share with people is where you have come from. My favourite stories about my parents and my friends are when they share about where they grew up, or funny things that happened to them. I especially love it when they open up and share about some struggles they had when they were a teenager or a young adult.
It really encourages me to see that they were experiencing the same emotions, experiences and expectations that I went through as a teenager. Jon Acuff has a great quote here:
"Your parents and mentors have been to the future, and if you ask they will tell you about it"
When you talk about your past, you might be describing someone's future. You might be explaining someone's present situation and how you were able to get to where you are. Show people the path that you have taken to get to where you are.
Where have you come from to be who you are today?
What are some key moments that happened in my past to make me, me?
What is my family's story? Am I the first Christian in my family?
Why Do I Follow Jesus + How Was I Saved [Saved]
I love hearing how God saved people.
There are very few things as encouraging and uplifting as hearing how people have been saved. Unfortunately, some people feel like their testimony is not exciting or interesting but a bit boring.
I really like what Dave Miers says about this:
"There's no such thing as a boring Jesus Story because Jesus is the exciting bit!
Whatever was good news for you in the Good News, could be good news for someone else as well.
God didn't give us a personal story of how he saved us so that we could make it mysterious and vague. It's something that should be talked about often. It doesn't need to be a big testimony in front of a whole church, but we should share how God saved us all the time.
Talk about why you personally believe in Jesus, include it in your everyday conversations.
Why do I follow Jesus? How was I saved? What was I saved from?
Why do I go to church?
How has Jesus changed me?
How Do I See God Working In My Life [Santification]
The awesome thing is that God isn't distant, but he really cares about us right here and now. It's all well and good being able to use big theological words, but what I really wanna hear is HOW God is working in your life right now?
I get that sometimes it's hard for people to see how God is working, but we rarely stop to talk about it.
Rick Warren, suggests to keep a notebook of journal of how you see God working in your life. Write down the insights and life lesson God teaches you about himself, about yourself, about life, relationships and everything. Record these and tell other people!
How do I see God working?
What is God teaching me at the moment?
Where is God leading me?
Every person has a God-given story to share. What's yours?
James Young moved to the west of Melbourne to follow God's call on his life to tell young people about the greatest message they could ever hear – the gospel. On his days off, he seeks pain on a road bike, blissful beats by listening to Beautiful Eulogy and Trip Lee and relaxing with his beautiful wife Sarah. You can see more of his writing @radicalchange2010.com and follow him at @ragingzephyr on twitter.
James Young's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/james-young.html