If you’ve met Jesus, you’ve got a story to share. Stories are about change, and Jesus is all about changing lives.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of sharing your story. Perhaps you’ve told yourself “it’s not exciting enough” or “it’s too complicated.” The truth is sharing your story is as simple as telling people what God has done for you. That was the approach Apostle Paul used. In Acts 22 and Acts 26, Paul told his story in about 500 words — 2 to 3 minutes at normal speaking pace.
With a little preparation, your story can be a powerful way to give God the praise he deserves and to help others draw closer to Him. Here are three tips to make sharing your story easier:
1. Focus on one thing that’s special.
God is so great that it’s natural to want to detail every way we’ve experienced God’s glory. But focusing on one thing makes your story easier to tell and is far more likely to hold someone’s attention. Describing what you were thinking and feeling, not just what happened, also makes your story moving and memorable.
Choose what sticks out as special or remarkable. Perhaps it’s your decision to ask Jesus into your life, your experience of a test of faith or a particular way God used you. Every significant experience leaves us with a “before” and “after” in our lives. Explaining how your life and heart was changed makes a great story every time.
2. Point to Jesus.
The hero of your story is Jesus. He is the ultimate change-maker. Jesus is the one who transforms our circumstances, our choices and our responses. He is always either visibly at work in our lives or invisibly guiding events through His goodness. Without explaining how Jesus “fits in the picture,” you don’t have a testimony, only a biography.
From beginning to end, the Bible is one big story about how God has been pursuing us from the beginning of time. He created the earth and since that day has been working to bring each of us into an eternal relationship with Him through his son Jesus. Ultimately, when we share our stories, all we’re doing is sharing “living examples” of this larger story. Your story brings the Bible story to life for the people you know, whether your audience knows Jesus or not.
3. Tell a friend
The best way to prepare to share your story is to write it down. Nothing forces us to think deeply and clearly about what Jesus has done for us like writing.
As you’re writing, imagine talking to a friend. Saying your words out loud will help you express your story in a way that’s real, comfortable and short. When we talk to people in conversation, even in our own minds, we naturally are inclined to boil down our words to the essentials. And, by writing your story the way that you speak, you’ll be ready to share it verbally when an opportunity arises.
The most important thing is to remember that the power of your story is not in the words you choose or in the drama of the events you recount. The power is in expressing an authentic, personal account of how Jesus is alive and at work for you, in you, and through you.
We don’t need our stories to end neatly or wrap up with a nicely tied bow. We just need to allow people to connect with our hopes, fears and struggles, and help them see that Jesus cares.
Want to take a shot at telling your story? We’ve made it easy with our simple story-sharing tool. Just answer a few simple questions at http://iccenter.org/mystory