The Power of Sharing Our Stories
All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. Jesus, Matthew 13:34 Jesus taught by telling stories. He told stories from Scripture, nature, and farming. He told stories about people. Jesus used stories to communicate the truth about God and his kingdom. His stories inspired people to follow him and they warned about what could happen when you chose not to follow him.
Stories are still powerful today. As an evangelist, I have used stories for years to teach non-believers about Jesus. As an elder, I use stories to help people deal with their sin and addictions. I tell stories in hospital rooms, at funerals, in coffee shops, living rooms, around tables at meals, and during church assemblies.
I am sure you do too. So let me share these reminders of why stories are so powerful and to encourage you to use them as a regular part of your teaching.
Stories are non-threatening. Asking to tell a story is natural. Asking someone if you can study the Bible with them can be intimidating. Almost everyone says yes to hearing a story.
Stories are communal. Everyone understands stories about nature or animals or stories that reveal human nature. I often tell people that their story is in the Bible … just under a different name. They remind us we are not alone.
Stories are personal. When I share a story about Jesus from Scripture, it is real to me. It is what I believe. My friends can believe it or not, but they do understand it is real to me.
The story of good news we share is never ending. We tell stories of a God who acted a long time ago, but we also share stories of a God who is active in lives today. Stories of Rahab, David, and Peter tell of a God who loves, forgives, restores, and acts in lives to reveal these things. Stories from our communities of faith today do the same thing. Stories of marriages restored, illnesses healed, and addictions conquered still tell of a God who acts in love.
Our stories are still being written by God. The people who hear our stories can write new chapters in their story. That is the beauty of our stories. We invite people into the story of God’s love.
Jesus said nothing to his followers without using a parable--a story. They inform, instruct, and illustrate the good news of a God who loves us and wants us to live with him forever.
A love story we share in hopes that others will enter into the greatest story ever told.