One important thing for us to remember is that we don’t share our stories to make ourselves look good. None of us want to look like we think we’ve got it all figured out! We share our stories because we want to tell people about how God has shown up in our lives! While we are one of the main characters in our stories, the main character is always God and we always want to point people to Him.
Telling our stories is an important part of what God wants us to do, too. In Romans 1:12 Paul says; “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” And in Psalms 107:2 it says; “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” We can see it’s important to share the stories of our faith with those around us. But it’s important for us to share the difficult stories, too. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says; “Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Our stories of victory, strength, and faith need to be told to encourage others, and at the same time our stories of pain, difficulty, and struggle need to be shared too. We are real people with real problems, but we believe in a real God. When we share the gritty, painful stories that may not have a pretty bow on them, we communicate to the people around us that our God is with us in the pain; He meets us there and guides us through the realities of life. Christianity isn’t just a good thing to do on Sunday, but this relationship is the hope and strength that gets us through every season of life!
The steps that follow are only provided to help you start the process of telling your story. It isn’t necessarily the right way, best way, or only way – it’s just a way.
You have to ask yourself; who am I telling this story to? If you are telling your story to your close friend, you might share a bit differently than if you are sharing with a team of volunteers you serve with. You may tell your story differently to someone that isn’t sure if they believe in God than you would to someone who has been a Christian for many years.
Don’t worry about telling it “perfectly.” The number one goal in storytelling is to connect with the audience; with the people that are listening.
While your whole life is a story, it is made up of many, many smaller stories. When we try to tell multiple stories at once the story can become unclear, so it’s important to choose just one to focus on.
Let’s say, for example, you choose to tell the story of your life group or Rooted group. Why are you telling this story? Is it because you didn’t think you had the time for close relationships with other people? Did you find yourself in a difficult or painful situation, and were amazed how you felt God’s love as your group surrounded and cared for you? Maybe you found a different way to pray and hear God’s voice as other people in your group shared?
There can be many possible reasons for why you would share any story, but just choose one to focus on.
If you don’t know what story you want to tell, consider these questions:
What is something you experienced in your life that either helped or challenged your spiritual journey?
Was there ever a time you doubted God, or a time when you wanted more of God in your life? What did you do, and how did God respond?
Was there a particular event or experience that gave you a deeper understanding of who God is, or a deeper sense of who he made you to be? Explain that journey.
Has there been a specific way that God has blessed you, or a difficult season that you experienced His faithfulness?
Maybe you just got back from serving someone in your community or in another country; what did you learn about yourself, and what did you learn about God through that experience?
In 1 Peter chapter 3, it says; “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Your stories are the best way to be prepared to explain the hope that you have. Telling our stories is one of the most simple and powerful ways to share who God is and why we put our faith in him! Whether it’s the story of how you came to believe in Jesus, or of a way that God has helped you grow; telling your stories will become easier with time and practice. Take the first step and share your story with a friend or family member this week!