Note From Cory: This is a guest post from Josh Ivy! Josh is a Spiritual Formation Pastor at 12Stone Church. More specifically Josh focuses much of his time to help those who are new or returning to faith engage with God. Josh is also a great friend and his thoughts on leveraging your story are fantastic. You can follow Josh on Twitter.
What is your favorite movie?
A few of mine are Tombstone, Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator, The Imitation Game, and Cinderella Man. (Dumb and Dumber is also on my list, but that’s a different story).
The reason why you named the movies you did is because there’s something in the story that connects with you. There is something in the narrative that you can identity with; something that resonates within your life and heart.
The human brain is hardwired to connect with stories. Stories grab our attention, evoke our emotions, move our hearts, and inspire action. I believe this is why Jesus taught with stories. And this is why I believe it’s so important to share our own faith story.
One of the most powerful ways you can proclaim the gospel is by sharing your story. (click to tweet) When we share the story of our life (before meeting Jesus, how we met Jesus, and what He’s done for us since) we become a testimony to the life changing power of the Gospel.
Here are a few more reasons why sharing your story is so powerful.
- It Makes God “Here and Now” – We all have a tendency to view God as someone who only did things “way back then” in the bible times. But our story isn’t a distant and far-off fantasy; it’s a present and nearby reality. Sharing the stories of how we met Jesus, what God has done in our lives, and the prayers He’s answered, reminds us that God is still working today. Our story moves God from “way back then” to “here and now.” (click to tweet)
- It Gives Hope – Sharing the struggles God has rescued us from testifies to the immeasurable grace and unconditional love of Christ. It demonstrates that God can rescue anyone from anything. Our story testifies to Christ’s life-changing power. Our story demonstrates that Jesus unapologetically loves those who least deserve it. (click to tweet) Like a lighthouse to a storm-tossed sailor, our story brings the light of Christ to a hopeless world. (click to tweet)
- Anyone Can Do It – Sharing your story doesn’t have prerequisites. Anyone can do it, regardless of age, spiritual maturity, biblical knowledge, or education level. Sharing your story doesn’t require a seminary education; it only requires an honest and transparent heart. (click to tweet)
- It Keeps Us Humble – Our personal stories of struggles and failures remind us that we’re not better than anyone else. Our story reminds us of our inadequacies and God’s goodness. Our story demands we climb down from the pedestal of pride and keeps us desperately dependent on Christ. (click to tweet) It’s hard to become proud when we’re regularly sharing our failures.
- It Generates Transparency – When we’re transparent and honest about our story and the struggles God has brought us through, it gives people permission to remove the hell-birthed mask of “religious performance” and allows them to be honest about their own struggles. Our story allows people to be honest, authentic and real. Our story gives people permission to be human.
- It Creates Connection – The presence of transparency creates connection. This is powerful because connection is at the core of all life-change. When we share our story, we are able to deeply connect with the heart of the listener and invite them to connect with the heart of Christ.
For the sake of those who are far from God, proclaim the gospel by sharing your story. Graveyards are filled with silence; boldly tell the world your story while you still have a voice.