Lord’s Library’s Ministry Leaders Series is a collection of contributed articles written by ministry leaders on key Christian topics. In this submission, What Do I Say When Asked About Jesus? Author Dave Foucar outlines the importance of “Your Story Evangelism” when sharing The Gospel.
As Christians, we understand that the Christian life is one of obedience. We, with the help of the Holy Spirit, do all we can to live in a way that is pleasing to God by obeying Him. We obey as a loving response to Jesus’ love for us. In fact, Jesus tells us just that very clearly when He says in John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And where obedience is concerned, Jesus gives one of His greatest commands in the great commission in Matthew 28:18-21:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
We simply cannot escape the fact that in order to be a follower of Jesus we must obey Him and a very big part of that obedience is to share The Gospel.
So, we understand that we are obligated to share The Gospel. And, if we truly understand what God has done for us, we have a deep desire to share The Gospel as well. Still, we sometimes overlook or minimize one of the greatest tools we have in sharing. God has given us something unique and personal that only you, or I, individually can use when sharing about Jesus. That something is simply “your story.”
You have a personal story. We all have a personal story. We tell the story of Jesus, of course, but we also have our personal story of what Jesus means in our life. People may doubt The Gospel story, or simply do not know or understand it. But God can use our story, how Jesus has changed us and what he means to us, to personalize The Gospel which might be otherwise dismissed.
Why is our personal story so important? Because, in our day-to-day lives, opportunities to share The Gospel often come in the context of a relationship. You may have the opportunity to share your faith with someone you work with or go to school with. The man or woman who lives down the street, your son or daughter, brother or sister, or even a parent. They all need to hear about Jesus. What these people all have in common is that they have some sort of a relationship with you. Your story is important to them, and, believe it or not, your story is the story that God has prepared them to hear.
Of course, this idea is not something that I just made up or stumbled across. The idea of sharing in the context of a relationship is very Biblical. Peter tells believers in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” In context, Peter is writing to believers about how to live their lives out while experiencing persecution for their faith. Peter’s concern and instruction was that believers, even in difficult circumstances, should not succumb to the pressure of their persecution but live in such a way that their actions would glorify God.
Even if those actions might cause greater persecution, the result was that people would ask questions like: “Why are you living this way?” and “Why are you being faithful?” So, Peter says, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” The same is true today.
I am grateful that I have not experienced the persecution that the Christians in the first century experienced. Still, even without severe persecution, our lives should provide a stark contrast to the world. When we live a life of obedience to Jesus, we will be different. That difference will be noticed. When we are different, people will ask why. Why does our joy seem to transcend circumstances? Why do we have hope? When they ask, not “if” but “when”, we need to be prepared to answer.
You might think” “my story isn’t special.” Your story is special to the person who is asking. Your story is the one that they need to hear. Some of us have dramatic stories. Some of us can speak of conversion from total darkness to total light. Some can share how God has carried them through difficult times and tribulation. Some can share a simple understanding of how God’s presence is just obvious to us each day.
Whatever the story, when we live out our faith, people will see and they will ask. And your story is the story that God has prepared them to hear. The listener will understand how deep and powerful an impact God has had on your life. In seeing the impact on you, a desire to seek the same for themselves, with the help of the Holy Spirit, will begin to emerge. Maybe suddenly with great excitement. Perhaps as an ember that needs to be fanned into a flame. Or possibly, later when you can’t even see the impact. Just the same, “your story” can make a difference.
“This overview of the basics of the Christian faith provides an easy-to-remember outline for sharing the gospel and the encouragement needed to include our own unique stories as part of the sharing. Full of anecdotes and examples shared from a life of service in the church, “What Do I Say When Asked About Jesus?” is a tool to help the everyday Christian share the gospel with others.”
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- Considering “Your Story Evangelism” When Sharing The Gospel - August 29, 2022