Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's Your Story?

I love telling stories. I’m not good at making them up (which is why you shouldn’t expect me to write a novel any time soon) but I love relating interesting anecdotes and experiences and bits of news, whether my own or things I’ve heard here and there. Of course, this could be a problem if it breaks down into gossip but, used wisely and with discretion, a gift for telling stories can be a very good thing!

The challenge for me is to find ways to tell stories that influence people to seek God, stories that intrigue them about the life and mission of Jesus, stories that help them take that step of surrendering their lives to Him and receiving salvation. Telling those kinds of stories is a bit more challenging than sharing about the typical “funny thing that happened on my way to work.”

The specific circumstances we all encounter on a daily basis are as different and unique as each one of us is. I work in my home office so I will not find myself sitting with co-workers or classmates in the cafeteria at noon… but I may develop a trusting relationship with a client or supplier. Maybe you work in a retail store and interact with hundreds of people every day, or perhaps you are involved in a social activity that enables you to get to know various people on a personal level.

Not only are our situations different, but our stories are different, too. My testimony is not the same as yours. The basic Gospel message that we share with people will be the same… but our stories will be personal and special. And, for the most part, people love to listen to stories. They flocked to Jesus, the parable-teller. They will also listen to us if we are enthusiastic and real and compassionate as we share what Jesus Christ has done in our lives.

If you’re not sure how to tell your story, hang around a Christian who is comfortable telling theirs. Listen and learn from them. Participate in the outreach opportunities at your church. Look for resources that teach about evangelism. Above all, pray about it. Ask God to show you what your story is. You may be surprised to discover how exciting it is… and that alone may be the inspiration you need!

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

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