This small group series is about helping us become the most effective we can be in helping us share our faith with our friends. It is based on the premise that evangelism can be relational, natural and a lot easier than we might initially thought. And it is all about bearing a story. We all have a story to share. This session is an introduction to stories. By the end of it we will have considered what the Christian story is and what we might say if someone asked us what Christianity is all about.
By the end of this session group members should be able to:
Read: Story Bearer – Chapters 1-5
Match the opening lines of the following stories in books or films:
Luke 15: 1-32
Explain that one of the aims of this session is for each group member to a bearer of God’s story and that the purpose of this activity is to consider how we might articulate and remember it.
I am not going to give you a set formula of how you might squash and squeeze the story of God into a short summary, but allow you to choose something that suits your personality and context. You may find that using the four simple truths work best for you, or the story of the prodigal, or a personal anecdote like ‘Caleb and the broken coffee cup.’ My encouragement to you is to have at least one way of answering the question, which may be to your friend the most important words they ever hear. (Story Bearer – p. 46.)
In the book, Phil gives a few examples of stories and of how to tell God’s story. The video gives us another perspective of the Gospel. In groups of 2 or 3 discuss how you would answer the questions: ‘What is the Christian faith all about? Can you explain it to me?’ It might be helpful for members to write down the key points or even their answer in full.
Then allow opportunity for a few people to feedback to the wider group what they would say if one of their friends asked them these questions. The answer should be as natural as possible. You are not giving a talk or delivering a speech, but explaining naturally in relational conversation. The tone and length of the answer should reflect this. Encourage group members to work on trying to remember God’s story this week and even practising being prepared what to say if explaining the good news to someone. Explain that, without pressure or duress (!!), there will be an opportunity for people to have a go at what they have practised at the beginning of the next session.
It is so important to us as Christians to never lose the wonder of the story of God and to know that we play our part in it today. At the end of Session 1 there is a moment to reflect on this for ourselves.
Psalm 145 encapsulates so much of our aims in this session.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; They will tell of your might acts. They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty – And I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works – And I will proclaim your great deeds.
Encourage the group to find this passage in their Bibles. Take a moment of reflection to read it slowly and quietly. You may like to play some worship music in the background as you do.
Father thank you for your story. Thank you that through it we get to know the Author better. Help us to be Story Bearers, good news people in a bad news world, and give us courage and confidence to bear your story well to those around us. May we do this with the lives that we live and with the story we live out with our lives and actions. Amen.