People love stories. Whether they’re true accounts of when your parents were younger or fictional tales of magical worlds, there’s something about telling or hearing a story that creates relationships.
Some of the most powerful stories are from the Bible. If you’ve grown up in a Christian home, you probably know off by heart stories like Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. But millions of people have never heard of Noah, the ark, the animals and the flood. You really notice the power of Bible stories when you tell them yourself.
My Year 12 maths teacher always had a trivia question on the board for our class. One day, it asked, ‘What was Lot’s wife turned into?’ No-one else knew, which surprised me. I assumed everyone had heard of the woman turned into a pillar of salt. It’s amazing how God works because that single question gave rise to an hour-long conversation regarding the Bible and the ‘craziest’ stories I knew from it.
Bible stories are the most basic and influential tools for sharing faith. If you are willing to share them, God can work in miraculous ways.
Another simple way to change someone’s life is to invite them to church. They may not come immediately but at least you have opened that door.
My sister Greta and I invited a school friend, Dale, to church last year. I love my church and the second family it has been to me. I wanted him to experience what it’s like to have hundreds of grandparents and aunts and uncles. I’ve invited many people to church before but mostly they politely refuse. He didn’t.
This year, Dale celebrated his first Easter. He received his first Bible last year and was part of his first Christmas service. These simple experiences are monumental in the life of someone who’d never known what Christmas was actually about.
Dale recently shared his testimony in our church confirmation class, that he lives in a non-Christian home and is teased for his beliefs, but still prays every night and wants to share the good news of Jesus with others. To see the way he’s changed since coming to church and believing in Jesus is life-changing for me also.
Every Christian has a story. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to share your faith without detrimental effects on relationships. Still, God finds ways for young Christians to share the good news. At university one day, I was studying for an exam when someone noticed the cross I was wearing and asked if I was a Christian. It started an hour-long conversation about Christianity and now we’re great friends.
Although it may seem our church pews are filled with fewer young faces these days, young people are still out in the community, working hard to bring the light of Jesus to the world. Please pray for us.
Josephine Matthias is a member at Para Vista Lutheran Church in suburban Adelaide.
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