Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tell Your Story: The Blind Man's Testimonial Approach

There is something in us that loves stories. Stories have a power that other forms of speech, like straight lecture or traditional three-point preaching, do not have. Do you want proof? Alright, indulge me in a little experiment:

Quick, tell me how you met your spouse or best friend. Tell me about something embarassing that happened to you in high school. Tell me the story your family re-tells every year around the Thanksgiving table. Tell me the most exciting or frustrating thing that has happened to you this week. Tell me the basic plot of the movie you rented recently.

Easy, isn't it? We remember stories. We listen when others tell them. We rehearse them in our minds as we lie in bed. We laugh at them, cry at them, learn from them.

Now, for part two of the experiment: Tell me one point of the sermon I preached last Sunday. One point. Any point. Hello? Buehler?

Not so easy, is it? Heck, I'd bet money my own wife couldn't remember any of the points. (For that matter, could I? Hmmm....)

Stories have power. That's part of the reason Jesus did most of His teaching in stories called parables. Yet traditionally we've been told the best way to share our faith with people is in a series of propositional truths: The Four Spiritual Laws. The two Evangelism Explosion questions. The Bridge Illustration. The Roman Road.

Maybe...and I'm just spitballing would be more natural for us to simply to tell our stories to people who do not believe. More natural for us--rather than memorizing a set of Scriptures or a canned presentation--and more effective for them. This Sunday, we'll look at a man who didn't know much at all about Jesus. He just knew, "I was blind, but now I see." His story is found in John 9. What is your story? Are you eager for people to know it? If not, why not?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent points made Jeff. Yes it is always easier to remember a story. God wired our brains to work that way. Looking forward to yours this Sunday. And thanks for Mr. was hysterical!