Get in the Boat, Stay in the Boat, and Invite Others into the Boat
Active church leaders want to speak truth into the lives of our people. We visit with a wide variety of people – all of whom are in various places on their spiritual journey. We may be sharing Jesus with non-believers. Or we may be trying to encourage a Christian struggling with their commitment to the body of Christ. Sometimes we even get blessed by the Christian who wants to talk about what God might be calling them to do in this world. We want to give spiritual and godly advice to each of these. I am convinced that one of the most effective ways to do this is by using stories from Scripture. This prevents them from thinking we are simply giving our opinion about their situation. It helps us be sure we are in fact speaking truth. And it gives them a reference point to return to as they process what we talk about.
Stories have the advantage of being easy to use, and easy to remember. They are not intimidating, and they help keep us from sounding condescending. Understand that I am not suggesting stories take the place of deeper Bible study, but I am suggesting they are an excellent starting point.
I often use the story from Mark 4 of Jesus and the storm. Most people quickly make the connection that life is like the boat ride, that life has storms, and that Jesus does care and has the power to get us through the difficulties of life. But here is the seed I want to plant in hearts from this story.
Get in the boat with Jesus. That is what I want the non-believer to think about.
Don’t get out of the boat. Storms are dangerous away from Jesus and each other. That is what I want the struggler to hear.
Invite others to get into the boat with us and with Jesus. That is what I often talk about with those who want to do more for Jesus.
Get in the boat, stay in the boat, and invite others into the boat.
Truth from Scripture. Spiritual advice that fits lives. Easy to tell, and easy for them to remember.
This kind of practical use of Scripture has been invaluable to me as an evangelist and as a shepherd. I pray it will bless you as you speak into the lives of those who look to you for help.