“God has co-authored our life’s story to reveal Himself and to tell His story of love and redemption.” Dan Allender
Mary Magdalene summed up her very important message to the disciples with, “I have seen the Lord.” John 20:18 HCSB ®
“We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told.” Henri Nouwen
Our Stories Have 2-3 Parts: 1.Shalom (Times of protection and nurture) 2.Shalom Shattered (A time of crisis) 3.Shalom Sought and/or Found (Seeking resolution)
Shalom Stories Describe some of the “Shalom Scenes” in your life.
Shalom Shattered Stories God uses tragedies to teach us about himself. We learn of God’s power when we see him redeem our tragedies. God wants us to seek and find Him within our tragedies.
Affliction actually can produce “hope” within believers—the same hope we’re told to share with others. See Romans 5:1-5 HCSB ®
Share a time when you had a “shalom shattered” experience. Have you found the spiritual nugget within that loss or is that an undiscovered truth?
Shalom Sought Stories Moving beyond a loss or tragedy requires hope and faith. Faith is not an absence of doubts but a willingness to walk toward God in spite of your doubts.
Genuineness Our stories must be genuine for God to use them. Discuss: “There is more faith in the angry questions, ‘God why did you let this happen?’ than in the pleasant platitude, ‘I’m just trusting God.’”
Shalom Found Stories Share a brief personal example of “finding peace/joy/hope after a loss—a “shalom found” story.
Let’s Review! God co-authors our lives to reveal His story through our story. Sharing “vignettes” from our life’s story provides opportunities for us to “share the hope within us.” Next we’ll discover strategies for discovering & harvesting our stories.
Charting major events on a line graph provides a bird’s- eye view of our lives. Spend time identifying stories/events on your line graph. Write positive experiences above the line and negative experiences below the line. Discovering Our Stories
Family Stories Define our foundational life experiences. Create emotional bonds of a shared history with family members. Serve as our record of the complexity of being human. Create a common ground of life experiences God can use to relate to others.
We find the passion to explore our stories because: We want to see our suffering redeemed—to see that in God’s economy, nothing is wasted, nothing is lost or forgotten. We want to reveal the hand of a good God in our lives. We want to reflect on our stories because God commands us to remember His power and faithfulness.
Let’s Review! God co-authors our lives to reveal His story through our story. Sharing “vignettes” from our life’s story provides opportunities for us to “share the hope within us.” Discovering/harvesting our stories might be hard work, but God reminds us to “remember” His mercies. Now we’ll discuss ways to share our stories/our hope.
Top 7 reasons women don’t share His story in their stories. 1.Don’t know how 2.Too busy 3.Fear of isolation and rejection 4.Fear of being assertive Telling Your Story
5.Fear of someone’s idea of who they are 6.Fear God won’t be there with them 7.Fear they don’t know enough if others ask questions What would you like to add?
Through prayer, practice, and boldness through the Holy Spirit, telling the story of God’s grace can become both natural and spontaneous.
Our story “hearers” are represented by the 4 soils in Matthew 13: good soil—receives, hears, responds rocky—shallow hearing thorny—distracted by the pleasures of the world hard—agnostic, feels no need
Practical Ideas for Telling His Story Bedazzling Telling God’s Story Through Telling My Story Dinner and a Story Total Transformation Story Squad Holy Grounds Coffee Chocolate, Coffee and Conversation Other ideas?
FINAL THOUGHTS Pray for sharing opportunities Pray for God awareness Use conversation Listen to THEIR story Debrief…listen..ask questions Connect with YOUR story Create a God awareness Connect to a God/Bible story
Only God can bring them to the same place as the Samaritan believers in John 4:39-42. They said, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”
An amazing thing happens in our own lives—we grow! (I pray) that your participation in the faith may become effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for (the glory of) Christ. Philemon 1:6 HCSB I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6 NIV
RESOURCES To Be Told by Dan B. Allender, Phd, Waterbrook, 2005 1-57856-951-6. This also comes with a workbook. The Power of Story by Leighton Ford, Navpress, 1994. 0-89109-851-8 HeartCall: Women Sharing God’s Heart by Jaye Martin Role of a Lifetime: Your Part in God's Story by Lucinda Secrest McDowell This is My Story, Lisa Whelchel
RESOURCES Share Jesus Without Fear by William Fay, LifeWay Learning to Share My Faith by Chuck Kelley, LifeWay FAITH Evangelism, www.lifeway.com/ministry (select “evangelism”) LifeMapping by John Trent by Focus on the Family Soul Café, A Guide to Spiritual Conversations, Serendipity