Jesus said to him: “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you and how he had mercy on you.”
What and Why
You’ve experienced the Spirit of God speaking in your heart. You know what it is like to be on your way to class and have questions flood your mind. As you look around, and see others who don’t know Jesus, you wonder: When will they hear about the Savior? When will they learn about the cross?
Such questions come from the Lord. Because of our love for him, we want to make Jesus known. Because of our love for students, we want to introduce them to the only One who can restore their relationship with God. Therefore, we ask ourselves the questions, “How can I help?” “How can I share the gospel with others?” God prepares his children to be his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). One way the Lord prepares us is giving us a story to tell. By God’s grace, we are no longer the people we once were. By God’s grace, we know forgiveness and have confidence that we are loved with an eternal love. Such a change creates a story worth telling over and over again.
The Lord wants you to be a storyteller. He wants you to tell how he has changed your life.
Learning from the Word
It happened on a dusty road between Jerusalem and Damascus, probably in the year 35 AD. The sky split open with blinding light, flooding across Saul and his band of religious thugs. It drove Saul to his knees. He was terrified by the words that came from heaven. The voice told him that the One he hated most, whom he fanatically persecuted, was none other than God’s Messiah. It was a dramatic turning point for a Pharisee who had a studied conviction that Jesus of Nazareth was a false prophet. (The story is found in Acts 9:1-19)
Scripture tells us that Saul, who became Paul, told his story often. There is much to learn from the fact that he shared his story over and over again.
In Acts 22, Paul shares his story. The context was dramatic. Paul had been serving God as an Apostle for 15 years by this time. He was a skilled preacher, philosopher and orator. He had no lack of material that he was competent to deliver. Yet on this occasion when he addressed a large group of people, …many of whom he had not personally met before and many whom he would never see again… he chose to share his story.
Read Acts 22:1-16
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What observations do you have about Paul’s storytelling? What did he choose to communicate?
An analysis of Paul’s story reveals that he followed a basic outline. He shared briefly what his life was like BEFORE he came to Christ. He then shared HOW he came to Christ. Finally, he mentioned a few changes in his life as a RESULT of coming to Christ.
Paul’s story seemed to be one of his favorite ways to communicate. In Acts 26 Paul had the occasion of addressing a king. King Agrippa was a very important official, responsible for overseeing much of Israel. Once again, Paul was in a situation in which he would talk to someone for the first time, and for all he knew, he would not have the occasion to speak with him again. In this situation, the scholar, religious leader and preacher selected to be a storyteller.
Read Acts 26:1-23 (or watch the dramatic recreation of the scene recorded in Acts 26).
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What was God’s message for his people? (vs. 14)
Step by Step worksheet:
Select an example of what your life was like before you placed your faith in Christ.
Tell what were you like?
What did you do?
It is helpful to tell of an instance that vividly captures a picture how things were.
In order to increase our vision for the role that story can play in sharing the gospel, you can look at the following testimony. You will also find links to additional testimonies below.
It is time to tell your story. First, share your story with your discipler, or someone on your team. Ask them to help you by listening to your story. Then, ask them if your story was clear and if they have any suggestions on how it can be told well.
Secondly, share your story with someone who needs to hear about Jesus. Set up a time to have coffee with a friend. Capture an opportunity when you meet someone and share about the most important moment of your life. Pray that God will use your story to stimulate that person’s spiritual hunger.
Reflecting on what I’ve learned
Now that you’ve shared your story a couple times take a moment to capture what you liked about telling your story.
What did you do that you felt was effective?
Is there any part of your story that you would like to work on? If so, what is it?
Passing it on
Everyone has a story to tell.
You can help someone learn to tell their story. Ask a person to share with you how they came to Christ. Listen attentively. When they are finished, encourage them by telling them which part of the story touched you. If they show interest, let them know that there is a tool that they could use to learn how to tell their story well. You might share with them the worksheet that you used to prepare your testimony.
Extra helps: The following video does a good job explaining how we prepare a personal testimony: http://crupressgreen.com/videos/crupress-presents-your-personal-testimony/
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