Session 3 - Where and How Can You Share Your Story?
Share Your Story
Stop! Wait! Before you start thinking about the outreach events and activities you can start at your church, we need to stop and think about those places you are already present.
We can very quickly move from my story to event planning, but the world we live in is getting busier, we are getting busier, the people around us are getting busier, and so we need to ask ourselves if another outreach event is really the best way forward. Instead, in this session, you will explore the places in your life where you are already present, where you already have friendships and connections, and where you can share your story of faith, and how it brought you to be part of the community of faith we call Church.
Last session we explored briefly what each of our stories is, and why they are important in evangelism. This session we will be thinking about where, in your normal everyday lives, you might have opportunities to share the love of God.
Have the group spend a few minutes filling out the Weekly Timetable together with the regular things they do over the course of a week (the Weekly Timetable can be downloaded at the bottom of the page under ‘Materials’). Once the groups have completed their timetables, have them look at the following two questions:
- Where do I spend most of my time?
- How aware are the people in that space of your faith?
NOTE: the aim of this is not to make people feel guilty if people aren’t aware, but instead to help them think about how they can, creatively and positively, share their faith in that place with those people.
How we can share our faith…
As a group read through Acts 17:22-33.
After reading it through ask the participants to pick out anything that stood out to them about Paul’s speech in smaller groups. If they need some specifics to think about ask them to look at it again thinking about:
- What emphasis did Paul put on his message?
- Does this look like a traditional gospel sermon to them?
- How does Paul illustrate his points to his listeners?
- Paul preaching at the Areopagus – when Paul preached to the Greeks, he used Greek language and imagery to share God’s love through that.
How is this something we can all do? Where have you seen Jesus in the world around you over the last few days? Ask the groups to share with one another their thoughts on this, or even if they think it’s possible to see Jesus around us in this way.
- This could be anything from a Christ-like character in a movie, to a piece of art, a character in a book, to the actions of someone you know, to the natural world around us.
- If people feel comfortable to, ask them to share something of what they have been talking about with the wider group;
Discuss: Why is it important for us to open our eyes to see God in the world around us like this? After allowing the groups to discuss this, read the following reasons and see if you agree:
- It helps us to ground our faith in the everyday.
- It brings our faith into the present.
- We become more aware of God in the world around us.
- (What additional reasons would you add to this?)
What does this mean for us?
- Paul shows us an imaginative way to communicate deep truths about the way we see the world to those around us. Through his use of the local religion and poets, he is able to show his listeners where God is at work in their world, and offers them a chance to be a part of it.
- Do you have a favourite piece of art, music, poetry, or a pastime that you share with others that you could start to explain your faith through?
- Is there a group or organisation in wider society that you see doing God’s work even if they don’t know it?
- How might you go about starting to explain how you connect with, learn from, or work with God in the world in a way that makes sense to people who may never have thought about these things before?
- In pairs, pick one thing and work together to think about the most simple way you can explain what you believe and what difference it makes. Make sure you have time to share some of these ideas, and ask the group to comment on each others ideas.
Using the audio prayer, give the group some time and space to reflect on the ideas that you have been exploring through this session.
Session 3 Materials
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