How you tell the story is as important as the story you tell...
by Hugh Halter on April 1st, 2013

Coming off of a great Easter gathering at Adullam, I woke to this encouraging note from a buddy Joe.
When we consider the power of the message of Christ, consider also the power of how we share this message.  People sniff out trite religious stories that have little reference to our human condition. This unchurched, barely-believing friend, was open to the Jesus story not just because of the story.  She was open because the messenger was believable.  Because a divine message was housed in a human.  This isn’t a pat on my own back, or evidence that any human is more important than the story.  But it does show that it matters to Jesus how we bare witness of Him.  In other words, how we tell the story!  I believe the posture of how we engage the lost world was modeled by Jesus and as we are encouraged in 1 John, ‘to walk as Jesus walked,’ we have an opportunity to be tell His story well or at least better than we have been.esR

During this sermon, I did apologize for how Christians have not lived the story or made it sound easy to believe. I was honest about my own continual failure and even about my occasional doubts.  I gave real examples of how Jesus has made small incremental changes in my life, over many years, but I didn’t make it sound like I had reached some pinnacle that others can get to in a weeks time.  The story our collective community told was that there’s no insiders or outsiders and that God’s story is for everyone.  They could see it and feel it in how we related 30 minutes before the service together as well as how we stayed another 30 minutes after the ‘religious time’ was over.

These simply changes in posture don’t remove all the barriers to someone finding faith, but they sure do make it easier for the story to be heard. And that’s a good starting point.
 
Hugh



Posted in Adullam, Incarnational Community, Missional Church, The Church    Tagged with Easter, Ressurection, Jesus, Christian, Pastor, Bad Days, Christ, christian leaders, Christian Pastor, Christian Pastor, Message, Religion, Stories, Story, 1 John


2 Comments

Bonar Crump - April 1st, 2013 at 5:19 PM
I keep thinking that we should be encouraging others to establish a relationship with Christ. However, no one meets another person on Tuesday and starts talking about a business partnership with that person on Friday. That would be stupid. I've ridden with Hugh Halter once and read Sacrilege, but I'm not giving him the code to my garage.

Getting to know someone takes time. It also takes small incremental baby steps of trust that push farther and farther toward defining another person as trustworthy. More so, an honest-to-goodness falling in love with someone requires a person to feel safe in the belief that they can be honest about who they are and who they've been. This can be empowering and scary as hell all at the same time.

I fear that we do not honor the difficulty of loving Christ by smugly advising someone we might barely know to "surrender yourself" and "trust in Jesus". Some of us have been severely burned by those that we loved and had trusted deeply. We wade in cautiously and are better at rejecting love than accepting it.

Blah blah blah...all that to say, "yes, I agree." Be real about it or go home. These are real people with real brokenness. They shouldn't be expected to love before they've ever had a chance to like.
Esther - April 2nd, 2013 at 7:39 AM
I am trying very hard to not make a sarcastic comment, putting down a group of Christians that annoy me. Progress.

I wish people would see that the message gets lost behind angry voices and picket signs. There is no love and grace found in disparaging comments or exclusion.
Great Post, Thanks!

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