The Power of a Bigger Story

Dear Christ Church,

This past Sunday I preached about how God wants us to live in the power of a bigger story.  A story that is bigger than just the circumstances of our life.  A story that is about seeing people come from death to life through faith in Jesus.  I only received one question from the sermon.  I answered this question live on Facebook.  You can check out the video here.  Here are some brief notes in response.

Question:  How can I get started on sharing about Jesus with my friend?

Pray

This was the main point of the sermon.  If Paul asked for prayer for words to say and boldness to say them, how much more so should we!

Listen

We aren’t ready to share with others until we have first listened to others.  The gospel is a multifaceted diamond and each person is unique.  We need to learn to listen so that we might see the connecting points between people’s stories and the story of the gospel.  For example, someone struggling with fear needs to hear about the hope of Jesus, but someone struggling with guilt needs to hear about his forgiveness.  God didn’t give us a few verses to use to share with people about him.  He gave us 66 books of the Bible with thousands and thousands of words.  We need to hear people so that we might know where to go.

Practice

The more we learn how to connect the gospel to our lives the more we will be able to help people see the connection of the gospel to their lives.  

Break

There can be a natural barrier of not wanting to jeopardizing our relationship by being “that person” who brings up spiritual things.  We need to break through this though.  I encourage bringing up the fact that you are a follower of Jesus (not Christian, because everyone thinks they are a Christian) as soon as possible when you meet someone.  The longer you wait, the more awkward it will become.  Also, don’t be scared to talk about how being a follower of Jesus affects your life.  Often I think we can create two different languages.  One we speak to our friends who are also followers of Jesus and another for those who are not.  Fight this off.  Simply intro your sentences by saying, “As a follower of Jesus this is how Jesus teaches me to think about this, do this, be this, etc…”

Invite

Our worship service is intentionally planned with those who are far from Jesus in mind.  While we want to serve to mature disciples in their faith, we also want to make new disciples.  If you can get them here, we’ll make sure they are engaged with the gospel.  You see a lot of different people in the Bible who weren’t great at speaking about Jesus, but were really good at bringing their friends to come hear Jesus.  We might not all be great sharers, but we can all be bringers.  So pray for opportunities to invite your friends to church and take those opportunities.  I try to do this in three basic ways.  One, I’ll ask people what they are doing for the weekend and then mention my plans to go to church and invite them to come with me.   Two, I’ll follow up with people about things they have shared and let them know that I think coming to church will really help them with that issue.  Three, I’ll share my enthusiasm about church and invite people to come enjoy what I enjoy.

The plan is to give even more training on this in the summer, but hopefully this gets you started.  

Grateful for you Christ Church!

Pastor Jeff

Twitter @Pastor_Jeff

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