When Jesus explained the Kingdom, he used stories. We can only assume that when the disciples explained the Kingdom, they used stories, too. As we spend time with people who do not know Jesus, we also want to use stories! Selective storytelling is when THEIR story, YOUR story, and GOD’S story meet.
What observations have you made about your friend? What is their family like? What do you notice about their spiritual beliefs, their worldview, their community structure?
How might these observations impact the stories you tell and the word choice you use? For example, if you’re talking to a friend who is Buddhist, they have no framework or knowledge of Jesus. Don’t assume that saying the name of Jesus in a story has the same impact for them as it does for you.
What are the recurring topics that your friend initiates in conversations? What do they talk about frequently?
Which of these topics have an underlying theme? Consider topics that reveal spiritual need or seem to intersect your life in a personal way. Narrow the list above to 3. Sample recurring themes: health/sickness, peace/chaos, fear/power, hope/hopeless
Using the three themes listed above as your guide, think through some of your life stories where God transformed you. Think about major events in your life like an accident, marriage, sickness, achievement, etc.
- Think through, “Why would anyone care to hear this story?”
- Keep the story to 2-3 minutes in length
- Clearly communicate the problem
- Clearly communicate the active role God/Jesus played in the solution
- Clearly communicate that God/Jesus solved the problem
What story from God’s Word illustrates a similar transformation as your story?
Healing/Sickness: Demon possessed man, paralytic lowered through the roof, bleeding woman
Peace/Chaos: Jesus calms the storm, adulterous woman, demon possessed man
Power/Fear: Feeding of the 5000, Zaccheus, Jesus calms the storm
Hope/Hopelessness: Joseph in prison, Moses leads the people out of slavery
Ideally, read the story three times from three different translations. Consider using the New Living Translation for the last read. We recommend practicing this method with a friend who can give you feedback as you connect their story, your story, and God’s story.
As we share stories of truth with others, we have the opportunity to communicate who God is and how he can transform lives. What an incredible opportunity to showcase our God and the great things He has done!