I love stories! Stories of others inspire me and changed life stories of how God got a hold of someone really inspire me. Something we don’t do enough is share our stories. We have been practicing in our discipleship group being able to tell our stories in under 3 minutes. It has been a fun game. Well, tonight I listened to the video and read what to do quickly as I was running 100 mph today. At 8:30 I was supposed to go to discipleship group but my 7 year old daughter would not let me leave as the babysitter came. So I ended up staying home helping my 4 & 7 year old girls go to bed until my wife got back at 9:30 with my teenage boys from their track meet. I left in a rush and showed up at discipleship group. As I sat down they guys said “Your turn. We just got done telling our stories and critiquing them and it is your turn.” I chuckled, but they were serious. So I gave my testimony leaving out some details they had heard before and changing my story line back and forth. I didn’t come prepared(shame on me!) When I got done a few of the guys were honest and graceful with me on how I could make it better. They stated that maybe you should work on 3 testimonies with 3 story lines and you should write them all out. This was great advice as I sometimes don’t finish things well or think through things well enough. I am going to work on that and get them done this week….stay tuned. The stories I connect with most are well thought out and have purpose. One of the guys suggested that next time we split into pairs and share our story but whoever you are sharing your story with gets to tell you about the person you would be sharing with. You could choose someone who has been hurt by the church, someone going through a death, a teenager, etc. I thought this was a great idea! It is good to practice and be ready for different situations.
Why do we not take evangelism seriously? We think planning makes us feel rehearsed and not real but I feel like God gives us tools to use. I listened to a local pastor recently share about evangelism. He asked the group “In farming who grows the crops?” Everyone responded well duh “God does.” He then said “So, do you just throw the seed out and have it grow?” They stated “No, of course not.” He then went on to explain that you use the tools God has given you such as tractors and GPS and other technology to do it well. He then challenged us that God has given us tools for evangelism and we don’t prepare at all. He then stated that he asked most people in his church if a non-Christian came to your door and asked why you lived the way you do what would you say? A majority of his church could not give a response. He then challenged everyone and said we should all be able to do share our testimony, that is like someone setting the ball on the tee ready for you to hit it out of the park.
As I have worked on my testimony in the last couple of years I have had many opportunities to share it. I have got to share it with truck drivers at work, with sales people, with customers, with my son’s 6th grade basketball team I coached, and many other times. If I would have not prepared I would have not been ready.
Another more seasoned gentleman in our group awhile made the emphasis that Jesus needs to be the hero and the main one in our story. It is about what Jesus did in our life and not about what we did!