How To Unlock The Power Of Your Story

Knowing and sharing our story is a part of God's plan to use every follower of Jesus to change the world.

Our biggest challenge is the false view that a powerful life-change story must involve spectacular sins, terrible hardships, and miraculous moments. The truth is that going from being dead in our sins to being alive in Christ is amazing enough. 

Your Story Is Your Most Powerful Tool

Heart change, not epic circumstances, make our stories powerful. Specifically, it is the drama of repentance: How we come to discover in ways large and small that we must turn away from the sin of trusting in ourselves and instead turn toward the grace of depending on God in faith for our every need.

The story of the Gerasenes Demoniac in Mark 5 outlines the clearest, simplest formula for what makes a glorifying, powerful story that will change people's lives. Jesus tells the man who is set free from his hellish torture at the hands of demons, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you" (Mark 5:19).

Jesus Is The Hero Of Our Stories

Our experience of mercy comes in recognizing our brokenness and need of rescue. Our experience of His grace comes in recognizing how much Jesus has done for us. The two combined reveal the heart change that gives all glory to Jesus, and the testimony by which Satan is conquered (Revelation 12:11).

For most people, that drama of heart change is most vivid at the moment of salvation when we receive Jesus' payment for sin and are reborn to eternal life.

However, the process of becoming more like Jesus after we've been saved involves repeated experiences of new repentance and new graceas we realize how much we fall short and how much of God's grace we need to remain in his will and accomplish His purpose.

When we understand the Christian story in this way, we can see that our story isn't limited to the events that led us to make a decision to ask Jesus into our lives. We suddenly see that our lives contain many stories that are seeds of new faith -- for ourselves and for those around us, whether believers or not.

Telling the world of what Jesus has done should never stop at salvation lest we rob Jesus of the glory He properly deserves from all of our lives.

3 Ways To Unlock The Power Of Your Story

  1. Writing out your salvation story, focusing on how you came to understand your need of Jesus and what He has done for you since you surrendered your life to him.
  2. Examining your last step of faith or a step of faith you are considering, and think about it through the lens of your need to grow closer to Jesus and the grace that you encounter in Him.
  3. Practice telling people about your story or share it with Element Church at click here.

Your Story Is Not Ordinary

Every story matters to God because your story is His story. The moment we hear the gospel and ask Jesus into our lives, we change, and this renewal process is the ultimate proof of God's victory over sin.

A Defining Moment

For God, every day is “Show and Tell” day, and our lives are the ultimate way He wows and woos those far from Him. In a world where seeing is believing and actions speak louder than words, everyone is looking to see whether Jesus is who we say He is. Does He really exist? Is He really the Savior? Does He really care?

Once we ask Jesus into our lives, our choices and interactions become the individual brush strokes of God’s giant, galactic masterpiece. The "big picture" reveals the breathtaking beauty of our Lord and Savior, the all-conquering hero who gave everything--including His own life--to rescue the people He loves, give them an abundant life on earth, and provide an eternal life with Him in His kingdom.

An Everyday Treasure

In Matthew 5, Jesus gives his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. His message to the crowds speaks to the countless daily aches and pains of an ordinary world--the world that doesn't satisfy, that is filled with grief, that is self-obsessed, that is corrupt, and that is in conflict. Our stories offer that same hope in a broken world.

At one time or another, all of us will be tempted to believe that our experiences and encounters are too small or too common to be important. We may ask, "What does an ordinary struggle with loss, illness, or anger have to do with God saving the whole world from the curse of sin?" The apostle Paul describes these everyday challenges as the "hidden treasure" of Christ inside our lives (2 Corinthians 4).

Jesus’ power is tested and valued when people see that our faith in His truth, our hope in His promises, and our love of His presence is what sustains us and brings us through daily struggles and failures. When our friends disappoint us, when our words fail us, when success evades us and trouble finds us, Jesus is who carries us through.

A Masterpiece in the Making

Paul says all of our stories can be summed up in how God "comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Our story matters because that's how Jesus becomes flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood. Our stories matter to God because through our stories, others see His story.

What story is God writing through you? Share your story of grace at click here.

Three Ways To Share Your Story Better

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 click here.