In a world where it is so easy to “like,” “favorite,” or “follow”, we rarely understand how to “friend.” The crisis of loneliness has increased despite the increase of technological connectedness. What’s missing in our culture (and in many churches) is the concept of community.
God made us into relational creatures. So when we discover similarities with someone, we develop a closeness with them – regardless of what separates us: like time, language, religion, or ethnicity. A connection made with someone we share something in common with can be very powerful.
Thom Rainer’s survey of the formerly unchurched implies that a generation ago evangelism could only be successful by propositional truth (just the facts). In other words, someone’s personal story was superfluous. But now, the story of the gospel (someone’s own changed life) plays a vital role in evangelism. So instead of beginning with a proposition and moving to a story, we must now begin with our story, and then move towards the proposition (or at least weave the two fluidly together).
Seeing that our culture today relies less on statements of truth and more on personal experience is easy as one notices the shift in contemporary television. We have shifted from shows like MacGyver and Friends with phony story lines to Reality TV where people are simply sharing their stories in front of the world.
Rather than being threatened by narratives (after all Scripture has much use of narrative stories), Christians should seize this opportunity to share their own experience of Christ’s transforming power. But the basis of Christianity is a personal relationship, and when the church intentionally offers a transparent, personal, life-changing relationship…the world will take note.
You can share your story with someone today!