Are You a Storyteller?
Revelations 12:11 “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”Are you a story teller? The other day I was watching a show about a Native American Indian. He was talking to some young boys about an upcoming Indian festival in which he was asked to share stories about the past. He went on to tell them that the art of storytelling is a much-respected position among tribes and is usually reserved for the elders of the tribe. The distinctive work of the storyteller is that of acquainting the children with the traditions and beliefs of the tribe. It is reserved for storytellers to repeat the ancient tales with dignity and authority, so as to lead the child into the inheritance of the stored-up wisdom and experience of the tribe. The children develop self-awareness and self-esteem as they provide a sense of one’s place in the world. He also went on to say that even though storytelling was a much respected position, he was sure to address the “honor” that came with being a storyteller. The honor was due to the story itself that he was able to share, not because it was about the storyteller.As I watched the show I started thinking about the storyteller and its humble meaning for the Native American culture. The American Indian knew that it was more about the story itself, rather than the person sharing the story. I soon started thinking about this in a spiritual context. I asked myself…am I a storyteller? I, as a Christian, should be a storyteller. I have an amazing story to tell, one of how God has transformed my life and thought process. Just as the storyteller was an honored position among the American Indian tribes, the honored and effective method of evangelism is the giving of our personal testimony. Sharing how you became a Christian is one of the best ways of witnessing.
On six separate occasions between Paul’s third missionary journey and his trip to Rome, he stood before different audiences and presented Christ to them (Acts 22-26). Six times he stood alone. Six times he addressed unbelievers, many of them hostile and rude. Do you know the method Paul used each time? His personal testimony. Each time he spoke, he simply shared how his own life had been changed by the invasion of Christ and the indwelling of His power. Not once did he argue or debate with them. Not once did he preach a sermon. Why? Because one of the most convincing, unanswerable arguments on earth regarding Christianity is one’s personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. No persuasive technique will ever take the place of your personal testimony.
Chuck Swindoll, Senior Pastor First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, CA
In direct comparison to the American Indian storyteller, our testimony is not about the storyteller, but about the story. The God story. The story of how God transformed our lives. We should feel honored that God chose us to have a story to share with the world. Every culture in history has relied on an oral tradition to preserve its history, knowledge and experience. The bible does not view witnessing as optional for you and me. Our job is not to try to convict others, but simply to be a witness to them of what God has done in our lives. A personal story is valuable to people and as seen in Paul’s life, often more valuable than sermons or doctrine. Do not underestimate the power of telling God’s story verbally. You do not need to be a theologian, just act like Paul did; tell your God story.
You can read my testimony, click here.