I heard a preacher say something to the effect of, “I just preach the Bible. I don’t tell stories.” He meant he walked through the Bible when he preached passage by passage without personal illustrations. There was no place for our anecdotes in the presentation of God’s word to him.
The problem is that the scriptures are a book of stories. The Old Testament comes to us as laws, psalms, proverbs, prophecy, and … stories. It is an account of the people of God being formed and trying to live what they claimed to believe. The gospels also come to us as stories. Within those gospels, Jesus told more stories that we call parables. The rest of the New Testament uses word pictures that capture the meaning of Jesus’ work. He frees captives, adopts us as his children, and brings us into his family.
Stories, illustrations, analogies, and anecdotes are essential for understanding God’s work. They are also critical in helping us explain the good news to other people.
In fact, I would say that YOUR story is making an impact for the kingdom of God right now. Some people are amazed at where your life is today. Others might be shocked to see you in Church and walking with God.
The preacher who I heard say that was absolutely wrong. Part of sharing the gospel is telling stories, including your stories. We do not do this to show that you are a good person but to demonstrate the power of God working both in and through you. Your life intertwined with God’s story is the most potent tale you know.