Recently I was listening to a speaker talk about the benefits of hard work and persistence. He was trying to communicate to a group of teenagers some truth about life in a clear and straightforward way. As he talked, I quickly noticed that he has nothing new to say. It was all information I had heard before. Work hard, blah, blah, blah. Don’t quit, blah, blah, blah.
Then his talk changed. He started sharing his personal story of how he had to change his work ethic. He shared how he was once ready to quit and how he felt at the time. He shared some profound moments on his own personal journey and what happened in those times.
Suddenly his talk went from the same old high school speech to an engaging lesson about life.
While listening to him, I thought about the Christians I know. So often we can get caught up in sharing the faith we believe as a series of concepts or dry precepts. Frequently the response is boredom and disinterest. What really connects with people is when we share our story. There is power in sharing how we came to believe, the difference it has made in our lives and what we wish we had known some time ago.
Your story is unique and powerful.
Don’t get me wrong; there is a place for teaching the basics tenets of the faith. There is definitely a time when we need to explain the Bible and the set of beliefs we arrive at from reading it. Those are good and noble things.
Be sure not to neglect how those truths have affected you. The answer to the question, “How has knowing Jesus changed you?” might be one of the most important stories you tell.
People want to know what you believe, but it is equally important to know how those beliefs have changed you. You have a story to tell.