Monday, October 14, 2013

Stories Matter (Day 14)

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 "The Pharisees hadn't experienced grace or recognized their own need. As a result they had no grace for the needy. They had nothing to offer and nothing so say. " -Tim Chester
One of the greatest ways to find a bridge for sharing the Gospel is to share stories. Previously we talked about the importance of listening well. Oftentimes people who you've formed relationships will voluntarily share their story with you. Perhaps they've begun to share parts of their story with you already.  Another thing you can do to form a bridge to the Gospel is to ask good questions when people are sharing their stories with you. Many times we have found that people will bring up God, the church, or Jesus all by  themselves. This is especially true when you're talking about the problems of pain and suffering or if they have been hurt by the church. If someone brings up one of those topics you have an easy bridge to the Gospel. Be sure to gauge their attention to what you're saying and ask if it's OK to share more.

Another great way to build a bridge to the Gospel is to share your own story. I'm not just talking about how you came to know Christ but specifically the hard things you've experienced in your life. Stories of abuses, depression, addictions, and the loss of loved ones provide the kind of vulnerability and validity that will cause people to give you a measure of trust and desire to know how you've survived your own pain and struggles. A former pastor of mine was sexually abused for ten years. His openness about that pain in his life has been a platform for sharing the Gospel on numerous occasions.

If you don't have a lot of experience sharing your story one good discipline is to right it down and share it with some one who already knows you well.  Begin praying that God will give you courage and the right words to share your story with unbelievers. Pray also that He will give you wisdom to follow the Holy Spirit's leading when the time is right to share your story, listen to another's story, and ultimately share the Gospel.

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