by Jessica Leep Fick
When most of us think of testimonies, we think of sharing our spiritual lives chronologically as in “when I was 10, I went to church camp…..”
But what if our stories were snapshots of what life with Jesus looks like on an everyday basis? What if they were intriguing pictures of how following Jesus makes a difference in our lives?
Over the past few months I’ve been working on a resource called “The Story of Now,” a tool to help Christian women reflect on where God is at work in their lives, articulate it in story form, and connect with their friends spiritually through sharing that story. By combining spiritual formation (reflecting on God’s work in their lives), storytelling (communicating God’s work) and connecting with friends (evangelism), women can have a fuller picture of the presence and power of Jesus in their lives—and so can their friends!
When volunteers were trained to use this resource, the Holy Spirit brought up places in their lives where God was moving in power. These were often ordinary situations—stress about work, family, relationships, running errands, working out at the gym, and self-image.
As women began to share the stories, the whole group was encouraged to see the ordinary everyday moments that God spoke to them through diverse ways. It was a powerful reminder that Jesus knows us and sees us!
Many times, we often aren’t aware of what to share because we haven’t taken the time to pause and see the places where God is showing up in our pain, delight, or confusion. He’s there; we just need to stop and open our eyes. A helpful way to do this with friends is to simply ask, “Where have you seen Jesus moving in your life this week?”
Storytelling involves more than communicating facts. It involves identifying the conflict or problem that others can relate with, the people who are part of the story, and the emotions that are felt through the story. A powerful story connects with people in a way that resonates with their souls and what they struggle with daily. It doesn’t need to be an epic tragedy or an incredible miracle; many conversations start because people are complaining about something!
It’s likely that your friend knows you well enough to share places in his or her life where he or she is struggling. These are moments when we can empathize, connect with struggles, and listen. It’s a place where we can begin to connect our struggles with the hope and power that Jesus is able to give daily.
As you connect over stories, you might share about how Jesus showed up when you were impatient in morning traffic—that He reminded you to pray rather than get angry or how God sent a friend to encourage you when you felt depressed. If you’re having trouble thinking about where God is showing up, spend time connecting with Him and ask Him where He has been present.
Our shared struggles and how Jesus shows up in daily life begins to give people a glimpse of what it could look like for Jesus to be present in their lives as well.
When people begin to see what following Jesus looks like in your life, the Holy Spirit can move in them to become curious about what following Jesus could look like in their lives. After sharing your story and connecting over struggles in your life, invite them to take a next step in discovering who Jesus is. It could be as simple as offering to pray for them, to serve them in a practical way, or to look at the teachings of Jesus and how they apply in to life.
God can direct you to what to invite them into. He knows your friends and loves them. They might not be ready to go to church or begin exploring the Bible, but perhaps what will communicate the love of Jesus is to simply invite them over for dinner or out to coffee to continue to get to know each other. Even if they aren’t ready to hear more about who Jesus is in your life, you can demonstrate His love to them in practical ways.
Your Story Matters
Each of our stories are powerful ways God can speak to our friends. By sharing the story of what is happening in your life now, it will help you to be grateful for God’s work in your life. It will help your friends to see that following Jesus makes a difference in your life right now, and that He loves them enough to show up in their daily lives as well.
Jessica Leep Fick (@JessicaLeepFick) is the national director of Evangelism Resources for Stonecroft Ministries which is committed to reaching every woman “where she is + as she is.” She is author of Beautiful Feet: Unleashing Women to Everyday Witness. Jessica is married to Dave and enjoys exploring Kansas City with their two sons.