A good story is one of the best ways to deal with the emotional barriers some people may have to faith. It allows a person to look at things through the eyes of others, to see things from your perspective. Indigitous recently asked author and attorney Anna Rapa to share her thoughts on how to share your faith through story.
Story is one of the ways to speak to those who have an emotional barrier to faith. Maybe they are struggling with how God can allow suffering, or maybe with accepting the Gospel knowing that means their non-believing family members aren’t saved. A logical argument likely won’t be effective with such people, but a good story can be.
Sharing your story
If someone shares a struggle of theirs, you can use one of these prompts to tell your own story:
Can I tell you about how…
- … God met me when that happened to me?
- … I worked through that question?
- … I handle that difficult situation?
“In order to do this well, I have to know my own story … and how God has intersected my life,” Anna says.
If you don’t know what that story is, now is the time to think and pray about it and write it down. Writing out your faith story can help you to memorize it and be better prepared to share it with others. Tools like the yesHEis app (Apple/Android) can help you figure out what your story is.
For example, when talking with someone who was struggling to understand why God would allow suffering, Anna didn’t respond with a logical answer. Instead, she told the story of when she struggled with the same question while volunteering at a camp for urban inner-city children, so many of whom were broken by trauma and poverty. By telling the story, she was able to let the person know Anna understood her struggles, help her see things from Anna’s perspective, and be more open to hearing what Anna had to say.
Sharing God's story
There are a number of ways to tell the Gospel story, including a number of Gospel presentations in the GodTools app.
For Anna, it’s often easiest to tell a much smaller story than the entire Gospel. “It’s not very often that I’m actually asked to give the whole story of Scripture,” Anna says. Instead, she usually takes one simple relevant story from the Bible that applies to the situation. To be prepared, it’s good to have a mental list — or a physical one — of the different Bible stories and their themes. If you don’t know where to start, Anna recommends using a book of children’s Bible stories as a guide. You can also use the Jesus Film app to find a good short film or film clip.
If someone is struggling with how to have faith when there is so much suffering, for example, you could talk about the story of Mary and Martha. Both came to Jesus and said to Him, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). “What I know from that story is that God is not unmoved by my pain. When I experience something that is very hard for me, Jesus is right there with me, and He is experiencing that pain with me,” Anna says.
Jesus often used stories to communicate complex biblical truths to His followers. The same tactic can serve you well as you talk to those who you want to know Christ.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
- Watch the embedded video.
- Write down your story.
- Find some Bible stories that you like and would want to share.
- The next time the opportunity arises, use one of those stories to start a faith conversation.