Stories We Tell
Stories We Tell
(from 4/23 7 4/30 sermons)
I. OPEN - See if anyone wants to share a short testimony, or if there are specific praise updates to begin CG.
Q - Sermon takeaways from those who were in attendance?
III. SCRIPTURE READING
Acts 9:1-25 - Take time to read about Saul’s conversion found in Acts 9:1-25.
Acts 21:27-22:21 - Now read the account of Paul being arrested.
Acts 26:1-29 - Lastly, read of Paul’s defense before King Agrippa.
We enter into this new series Stories That We Tell reminding one another of the power of stories. All throughout Scripture stories were used to illustrate a point and to present truths. Jesus Himself was the master storyteller and used stories every chance that He had. The truth of the matter is that we don’t tell enough stories...and we don’t practice telling our stories. Thus, the purpose for this series, is to both give us a reminder of the power of stories and to also give us the opportunity to tell them...to practice. Tonight we are going to take focus on our own story of redemption, or our own personal testimony. Although we do need to be able to use Scripture for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with others, that in no way should minimize the effect that simply sharing our own personal testimony might have in drawing others to Christ and giving Him glory for what He has done. Many times in Scripture, as we will see in the weeks ahead, Christ would do something miraculous in someone’s life and then He’d simply instruct them to go and tell others what He had done...to bear witness of that which they knew to be true...to tell their personal testimony of God’s grace toward them.
Q1 - Is it hard to share your testimony with others? Why or why not?
In particular, discuss how that our standing “in Christ” from our previous preaching series can and should give us boldness to overcome these sharing anxieties.
Notice in the passages that we read earlier that Paul did not attempt to use some clever scheme for communicating the work that the Lord had done in his heart. Instead, he simply told his conversion story over and over again. No one can refute you when you are simply sharing those things that you know to be true.
Testimony Time - Items needed: Pencil & paper
1) Take 5-7 minutes to prayerfully develop an outline of your own personal conversion story. (If you have not yet come to faith in Christ, then you can take this time to write out the ways that you are experiencing Him working in your life.)
Don’t attempt to be too clever or creative with this; simply list the items out as you would if you were preparing an outline for a writing assignment. Especially take note of your sinful condition before salvation, when you recognized yourself to be a sinner in dire need of help, when and how Christ revealed Himself to you, and how He has changed your heart and actions since your conversion.
2) Afterward ask one person if they would be willing to use their outline to briefly share their own personal testimony. Feel free to ask questions or take time to discuss the particulars. 3) Now, break up into groups of 3 and give everyone the opportunity to briefly share their testimony within their small groups using their outline.
V. FURTHER APPLICATION -
In Mark 5 Jesus does a tremendous miracle by healing a man who had been possessed by many demons. Afterward the man was so stricken and thankful for this miracle that he simply wanted to go with Jesus, but it says that “.. .he did not permit him bus said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you , and how he has had mercy on you . ’”
Prayerfully make a commitment to share your personal testimony with someone this week. You may want to put your outline on a notecard and use it as a reference.
VI. CLOSE - Final thoughts?
VII. LOOKING AHEAD -
May is a particularly busy month for families, students, and even at work. Take the time to understand the prayer needs of your group during this season.