Blog Photo

Choose to Prepare


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin

Franklin's quote has many applications in life, but holds significance in ministry as well. Preparing for deep, sometimes spiritual conversations before they happen is extremely important to an effective storyteller. It can be easy to anticipate when story opportunities may arise, but some conversations develop unexpectedly. It is also very common for failed conversations and other instances of discouragement to cause apathy in preparation for future opportunities. Anyone can be susceptible to the natural discouragement, and that can certainly be a tool that the enemy uses to keep stories from being told. Maintaining resilience, however, and continuing to prepare for the moment might pay dividends when least expected. 

Leading up to Easter, Graedy had been feeling discouraged. He had been spending extra time praying for opportunities to share stories, had invited a friend to attend a Good Friday service who later backed out, and was beginning to wonder if he would have any ministry opportunities during Easter weekend. Despite the doubt, Graedy was invited by his friend Wade to visit his home and share a meal the Saturday before Easter. Graedy arrived at his friend's home to find that lamb was on the menu for lunch, and immediately realized that the food choice gave him an opportunity to connect a story with their conversation. Graedy brought up the story of Passover, most of which Wade was familiar with. He knew that people spread the blood of a sacrificial lamb on their doors and that people in that era had sacrificed animals to cover sins as well, but when Graedy mentioned that Jesus was killed during Passover, Wade was surprised. They began to talk about how Jesus was the final Passover lamb killed to cover the sins of the world, but that His sacrifice covered all of the world for all of eternity. As the meal wrapped up and Graedy left, he asked if Wade was interested in joining him and his wife for an Easter service the next day. His friend accepted, although unconvincingly. The doubt remained and Graedy continued to wonder if Wade would follow through.

The next day, Wade kept his word and joined Graedy and Katie at church. The message was great for Wade to hear, as the pastor shared from Revelation 5. 

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne.” -Rev. 5:6

“Because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” -Rev. 5:10

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!'” -Rev. 5:13

What an incredible message for Wade to hear on Easter Sunday! Notice the parallels between the conversation Graedy had with his friend the day before and the message the pastor selected for that Easter service. Imagine the missed opportunity to lay the groundwork for this service had Graedy chosen to be discouraged and not prepare for a possible story during his visit. His resilience and determination to be prepared was undoubtedly used by God that weekend; what a great honor! 

GoTEN is providing free training, including the topic of selective storytelling this month. This particular training will cover the concept of selective storytelling, which is the practice of using Bible stories, combined with a personal story, to communicate the Gospel. By the end of this training, learners will have a deeper appreciation of the power of stories to transform lives and the practical skills to engage in effective and transformative conversations with non-believers. The training follows a hybrid model, with some preparation work done online and a group discussion in person on June 13th. Don't wait to register!