In the busyness of life, it’s hard to find time to stop and ponder the bigger questions. So thank you for making time for LifeStory! We hope you’ll get to know yourself better, as well as the people you’re doing this with. And you may discover a bit about Jesus too. We don’t for a minute imagine that these 5 sessions will answer all your questions – in fact you may end up with more questions than you started with! But we’re OK with that if you are.
This is a short video for you to use to promote this.
Just so you know what’s coming here’s the structure of each session:
There is only so much you can say in a short film and at times you’ll probably feel like we’re barely scratching the surface. So that’s why we think LifeStory works best when you’re willing to explore and discover with others. We would love you to feel able to share your thoughts and ideas as well as listen in as others share theirs. And, if after watching, sharing and listening your appetite still hasn’t been satisfied, there are suggestions at the back of other things you could engage with.
It is entirely up to you how much you say. There’s space in here for you to jot down thoughts, questions and doodles but whether you share your scribblings is entirely up to you.
If you’re watching LifeStory as part of a group, organised by a church or Christian Union, then there may be someone to guide you through the films and discussions. Let’s call them a host in the hope they’ll get other hosting ideas like providing drinks and snacks… They’ll just help facilitate discussion and sharing and may click play on the films!
If you’re going through LifeStory with a friend then you don’t need a host; just watch, read and chat together.
Your host/friend will be delighted, and unoffended, if you say what you actually think and feel rather than trying to find the ‘right’ answers. Discussions are almost always better when people are honest. We don’t all think and feel the same things; and that’s good!
Please make the most of your host/friend and ask questions – both about what they believe and how they live.
No question is too easy. There’s no reason you should know anything at all about the Bible or what Christians believe.
No question is too hard. If your host doesn’t know the answer they’ll be happy to go away and try to find out for you.
In each chapter we will look at an encounter or event involving Jesus. To do this we will look together at small sections of a book in the Bible called John.
The Bible is made up of lots of different books written by different people, in different places at different times and in different styles. It is split into two big sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is everything before Jesus, and the New Testament is Jesus’ life and what happened after.
The first four books of the New Testament are all about Jesus’ life on earth and are often called the gospels (which means ‘good news’). They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In LifeStory we’re going to look at the Gospel as told by John.
A bit of background on John’s Gospel…
Christians think the words in this book are really important but we don’t think the book itself needs any special treatment. So if you’re given a physical copy of John’s Gospel, please feel free to get your pens out for highlighting bits you like and underlining bits you have questions about! There are also a variety of Bible apps available – though if you use these, you might also want to put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode so you don’t get distracted from the stories and discussions by your notifications!
Each Bible book is divided into chapters and verses. The chapters are written in big, bold print. The verses (which are sentences really, not poetry verses) have tiny numbers next to them. Referring to chapters and verses means we can pinpoint the exact bit we want to look at rather than saying ‘somewhere in the middle of that big paragraph’. So when you see, for example, John 1:1-14 we mean for you to read John chapter 1, verses 1-14 inclusive.
At the end of each chapter there’s a suggestion of an extra bit of John you may want to look at under the heading ‘More to the story’.
You may want to maximise the time you’ve carved out at this stage in your life to read more of John’s book than just the sections we’ll look at together. It’s easier to read than you may think but don’t take our word for it! If you decided to read a chapter a day, you’d have read an entire book of the Bible after just three weeks. That way you can decide for yourself what you make of Jesus rather than having to depend on the opinions of others.
LifeStory is a brand new resource and still under development, so we’d love to hear what you think of it – what you enjoy, and ways you think it could be better. At the end of each session, there will be a link to a short survey with a few quick questions about your experience. It’s entirely optional, but we hope you’ll take the chance to share your thoughts.
We really hope you enjoy exploring your life story and discovering Jesus’ life story!
Tim & Erica
writers of LifeStory