A great way to show the power of the gospel to people in your life is by sharing how God brings you hope.
The apostle Peter encourages us, “If someone asks you about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).
Let’s talk about how to share from your own life how knowing God brings you hope. We’ll call this a God story.
Which of these two stories would be more compelling to a friend who struggles with anxiety?
“When I was 12 I went to a summer camp and had an awesome experience. I got baptized, and now I go to church most Sundays. Last Sunday the pastor preached about anxiety and it was really good. Do you want to come to church with me?”
“Last week I had a conflict with a co-worker that caused me a lot of anxiety. But at church on Sunday the pastor shared a Bible verse about how Jesus helps us carry our burdens. I realized I do not have to deal with my anxiety alone. I was able to resolve the issue at work because I knew Jesus was with me. Can I show you that Bible verse and hear what you think?”
While the first story was good in some ways, the second story would be more empathetic and compelling.
Let’s look at a few tips for sharing a compelling God story.
1. Remember Jesus is the hero
Ultimately your story is less about you and more about what God is doing in and through you.
You can make Jesus the hero of your story by answering three questions:
- What has Jesus done in your life? Try thinking of a time when God met a spiritual, physical, emotional or relational need for you.
- What was your life like before Jesus worked in this way? Think of some adjectives that describe that time in your life, like angry, lonely, hopeless or depressed.
- What has changed in your life since then? Again, try being descriptive with adjectives such as peaceful, abundant, joyful or restful.
You might have experienced God working through someone you know, like a pastor, mentor or friend.
It’s great to share how God worked through those people. But try keeping it centered on Jesus, not on another individual or organization.
2. Pick a specific topic or theme to frame your story
For example, the theme in our story was anxiety.
Choosing a time when you noticed Jesus work in a specific way will give your story and your conversation more focus.
3. End your story with a question
You’re inviting your friend to take a step toward Jesus or to reflect on his or her own life.
Here are two questions you could ask someone:
- How do your spiritual beliefs help you deal with _____?
- Could I show you what Jesus says about _____ and get your thoughts?
Sharing a personal story shows how the gospel changes your life.
With a little preparation and practice, you can always be ready to explain the hope you have in Jesus.
You never know how God could use a story from your life to open doors to deeper spiritual conversations.
Explore more GodTools Lessons
This content was adapted from one of the lessons we recently made available in the GodTools app.
Watch this video to find out how GodTools Lessons can help you have the conversation you’ve been praying for.