Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Billy Graham has a gift for story-telling. Part of the reason that he is such a good communicator is because he has a knack for conveying truth through the stories of other people's lives.

Why is this such an effective tool in sharing the Gospel?

Because God is infinitely and inseparably intertwined with all three members of the Trinity, He is inherently relational. And as beings created in God's image, our lives are marked by the centrality of our existence in a social context. So, since we have a part of our souls dedicated to relating with other people, we love stories because they give us a glimpse of others' realities. Simply put, a story can present truth in a much more powerful way than simply laying out the logic of the Bible.

And the best story to use when sharing the Gospel is yours.

To put it more poetically and powerfully than I could, I'll quote Chuck Swindoll's book Come Before Winter,

"Because one of the most convincing, unanswerable arguments on earth regarding Christianity is one's personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. No persuasive technique will ever take the place of your personal testimony... The skeptic may deny your doctrine or attack your church but he cannot honestly ignore the fact that your life has been changed. He may stop his ears to the presentation of a preacher and the pleadings of an evangelist but he is somehow attracted to the human interest story of how you, John Q. Public, found peace within."
Chuck precedes what he was saying by pointing out that six different times, when the Apostle Paul was confronted with angry crowds, he used his own personal testimony to convey the the absolute truth of Christ.

But, even now, I hear an objection: "But I don't have a good story to tell. My salvation story wasn't marked with explosions, life-threatening situations, and wild living before coming to Christ. I just got saved after I was gently prodded by the Holy Spirit."

Let me answer with two counter-objections:

First, I'll quote Lee Strobel from the book Unexpected Adventures
"You might be thinking Well, here we go again. First an attempted killer becomes a pastor and now Paul hears directly from heaven. My story isn't anywhere near as compelling as those. The truth is that few people can identify with a brutal street gang leader or the greatest missionary of all time... But chances are that a lot of folks can identify with a story like yours."
And second, I'd like to point out that is is just as amazing for God to save the ex-convict out of his sin as it is for God to save you out of your past life of "smaller sins." Whether you're selling drugs or just telling white lies here and there, you are in complete rebellion of Christ's plan for your life. In my opinion, it is crazy for me to see God tear down someone's facade of righteousness and make them realize that they are horribly sinful despite their outward appearance of "goodness."

So who's up for a story? I know everyone out there is.

Go tell 'em yours.


Post a Comment