Hey, What’s Your Story?
Recently, our church enjoyed a day with Jeff Diedrich. Jeff is a pastor in Pennsylvania. One of his main ministry responsibilities for his church is discipleship coordination and over-sight. It was a great day of being challenged and reminded about God’s task for us, making disciples. As a theme for our “Grow Day,” this was a wonderful emphasis. How else can a church really grow other than by making disciples?
The most intriguing part of the day for me was to hear an old friend- I’ve known Jeff for about 25 years- recount for us an over-view of his life. I found I didn’t really know him after all. Not only was this a great way for a speaker who was a virtual stranger to most of the congregation to engage his hearers for the day that lay ahead, but it was also a lesson in how our “story” is really a way for us to connect with others and a way for us to trace God’s hand in our lives.
I couldn’t really get the concept out of my mind, and over the next several days I began to reflect on my own “story.” Certainly, this could be a self-centered activity, but what if I told my story to others, and what if I was even more interested to hear theirs? Wouldn’t that give this story telling a potential for eternal purpose. New opportunities for deeper and more meaningful connection in the body of Christ appeared on the horizon of my thinking. In II Samuel 7, David tells his story back to God in thanks. In the last several chapters of Acts, Paul tells his story several times to various rulers. The concept certainly isn’t unbiblical.
Some months back, I had heard someone mention using the phrase, “What’s your story?” as a means of connecting and beginning a dialogue with strangers for Gospel purposes. I think that is a good idea. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, and, certainly, if they are polite enough to reciprocate the question, an opportunity to focus on God’s work in one’s life would likely arise. I have tried it, and I still think it offers opportunity. However, frankly, my limited experience is that people don’t always reciprocate the question. Oh well, probably green fruit in that case, right?
However, what if you just took the time to think through your own story in a detailed way. Reflect on the “Heritage, Heroes, High Points, Hard Times, and Hand of God” in an organized and structured way through the various stages of your life. Wouldn’t you be bound to see the hand of God and be prodded to praise and thank Him for how you have become who you are, by His grace? Wouldn’t you have the first step in connecting to other believers by truly desiring to not only share yours, but to hear their stories, as well? Wouldn’t you have the first step thought through in how you’d respond in a witnessing situation when someone actually asks you back, “Ok, that’s mine; what’s your story?”
Well, using some notes from Dallas Theological Seminary which Jeff cited, I have begun the process. We’ll see where it comes out. I’ve also encouraged our Young Adults to join me in this quest. It’s a “work in progress”… just like us.
Written by Brent Brondyke, Music Pastor