Telling the story like Jesus.
New Year top tip to get the most from this weeks teaching.
Print the 'podblast' so you are ready to use it after you listen to the teaching (link below). If you've forgotten how to use it have a look at the listening guide. You might find it helpful to have the notes on the teaching open as you listen.
Read this before you hit play!
Here are the presumptions I'm making before you listen to the next three weeks of teaching. We have spent a significant amount of time looking at ourselves as exiles and our need to be building connections with those who live life without any reference to Jesus or church. That we are not doing this to populate the church. People are not projects, our motive is that they come to know the love of God for themselves.
I'm presuming that you have begun to arrange life so that you can be with those beyond the church, that you intend to keep doing that and looking for every opportunity to increase in showing love and serving 'the one' both in us and in front of us. We now dive into how we infuse being present with words that are about Jesus.
I'm presuming that like last term you will listen not in order to decide what you agree with or disagree with. Listen and chase what God is saying. Take time to process what you hear and bring to your meet up what it will look like in day in day out living even if aspirational at the moment.
The story experiment.
This weeks observe yourself or others telling stories.
This will require you to remember that you’ve just experienced a story. How we naturally tell a story or pass on information is how we tell stories and pass on all information every time. It is our inbuilt natural and instinctive way to communicate. It isn’t right or wrong but it is yours. We can freeze when we contemplate telling people about Jesus.
If only we could do it in church hey!
Then we could just pay someone to do it for us, we invite people and hey presto evangelism. Not anymore and in our gut we know that isn’t how it works for the bulk of people in society. However we may have unwittingly taken the framework from church and try to apply it to our day to day world. We panic because we don’t really want to open our bible in front of someone but that is how it works in church. We are more serious and focused in church so we think we need to speak to people with zero humour and kill off all tangents. It takes between 20 and 45 minutes to communicate anything in church AND it has a response. However your mouth dries up after 30 seconds when you talk about anything beyond your field of education and you hate the thought of conflict or asking anyone to do anything. At this point you have now eliminated yourself from any evangelism and dread the thought of ever having to open your mouth.
Evangelism should look like, feel like, sound like its you (and the Holy Spirit...but that is the job of the Spirit to sort out with you). When that happens you actually enjoy it. But like swimming you’d never start at the deep end. Start with where you are and who you are.
And so an experiment for this week.
Observing the stories people tell and your own.
When you become aware of a story being told, step outside of yourself and start watching.
What made it natural to you (or the person speaking), what were its traits?
Was it a monologue? Did it link into the tellers life?
Was it animated, have tangents, was it fun?
How did it begin?
Did it end or just blend into another conversation about something else?
Whether the observation was of a moment that was awkward or enjoyable you can learn how you naturally engage with people in word. These traits (the positive ones) are the ones that are going to be your best way of talking about Jesus to another person.
Another and a more stretching challenge.
Tell someone this week about something that you are passionate about BUT NOT JESUS OR CHURCH.
Again it's so you can step outside yourself and watch, learn and then make your practice when it comes to conversations about Jesus or Faith.
You might talk about a hobby, a cause, a netflix series or national news. If you can observe yourself in conversation with a stranger and a conversation with a friend. It will be different though will still carry traits of what is natural to you.
If you do any of the above then let us all know what you learned and have fun with it.