Imagine sitting down to dinner at your favorite restaurant with a new acquaintance. The server has taken your order, and now you have a few minutes to get to know one another better before the food arrives. The usual chitchat about the weather and what looked good on the menu gradually turns to more substantial questions: Where did you grow up? How did you end up in this town? What do you do for a living? Where did you go to school? What did you study? Do you have any siblings?
We’re comfortable with these kinds of questions. We expect them. We typically know what we’re going to say. And we ask these questions to others because they help us gain an overview of their story. During the course of an evening, we get a sense of where they’ve been, what their life has been like, and what’s important to them. We get to know people by learning their story.
While these questions are good and helpful, they often leave out the most critical part of our stories. Unless we’re intentional, the answers to these questions can easily gloss over God’s role in our lives.
If you’ve placed your faith in Christ, the most defining thing about you is that God has saved you. Whether you came to faith as a child, teen, or adult, your life had a turning point. We want to share with others this most important part of our stories, but often we don’t know how. It feels awkward to bring up in conversation. We don’t know where to start. Perhaps we’ve been taught the basics about telling our testimony (how we came to faith in Christ), but beyond that, most of us haven’t learned how to continually tell the story of what God has done in our lives after that point.
That’s where this study comes in. We want to equip you with the tools and practice to share the story of what God has done in your life. That may be the story of how you originally came to place your faith in Christ. Or it may be the story of when He taught you more deeply about His love through difficult circumstances. It could be the story of how you saw His faithfulness in the small things over many years. Perhaps He freed you from something you thought would follow you for your entire life.
Whatever your story might be, it matters. We’ve written Redeemed to give you confidence in the importance of your story as well as practical steps to write out and share your story with others.
If the idea of sharing your story makes you want to run the other direction, don’t close this study just yet. You’re not alone in that feeling. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see that we’ve written this study with you in mind. Some of the greatest heroes of our faith hesitated to tell their stories. Even Moses didn’t think his story was important at times.
Your story matters. It matters to God, to the church, and to the world around us. God has written a unique, one-of-a-kind, for-all-eternity story with your life. When we keep silent about our stories, the church suffers. When we share what God has done in our lives, we bring Him glory and encourage those around us.
We can’t wait to dig into the next few weeks with you!