God's Story

I've been reading through Mark Dever's book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, and just read something that I found helpful in communicating God's story.

At our Sunday night training sessions, we've been challenging each other to shorten the stories: "God's Story" and "My Story." Part of the efficiency in communicating the gospel stems from Dever's writing and teaching. He writes this:
In our church in Washington (D.C.) I always ask our prospective members to tell me the gospel in one minute or less. How would you do that? What would you say the message is? Here's what I understand the good news to be:

The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in His image to know Him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him. In His great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust Him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ's sacrifice and that God's wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
To give you some perspective, that story is 138 words long. At our Sunday evening training sessions, we've been quick to communicate that efficiency in communicating the good news will be a helpful tool, both in developing your own understanding of the gospel, and also in your conversation. Two weeks ago, we challenged you to communicate "God's story" in 3 minutes. Last week, two minutes. We would venture to challenge you to communicate it in 1 minute.

A few observations:

1. Time is of the essence. Attention spans are short. People are not by nature "listeners." You do not often have all-day to sit down with a friend and talk about the gospel in detail. This is, of course merely a tool to help, it is not a rule; it is not a law; it is not the right way to share the gospel. But we think it will help.

2. Evangelize in bullet points. As I read the story quoted above, I felt like I was reading bullet list, and that a lot of meat was missing. Funny--but that was the case! With a bullet point list, it does leave the door open for question--for further conversation. I have something else to talk about if a question is asked--something meaningful. This will help in your discourse with a non-believer.

3. Write it out. This week, we challenged you to write out "Your Story" in 100 words or less (for the same reasons as above, but ultimately) to help you know what is most important to communicate. Writing something will really put your thoughts and word choice under a microscope. You will notice things as you write, that otherwise would fly under the radar. It will help your conciseness and your clarity.

Good stuff! If you have "Your Story" written (in 100 words or less (we can all give each other suggestions on editing for conciseness and clarity)) please share it on the discussion board on the facebook page.


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