We all have that one friend that is great at telling stories. Whether it’s a crazy story of adventure or a sad tale of heartache, we enjoy listening to them because they grab our attention and take us on a journey. They don’t just convey information; they capture our imagination. They connect with our emotions and leave us wanting more.
Jesus was that guy! He was a master storyteller. Thousands would gather to listen to Him; they hung off His every word. He used stories to share the hope in His heart, to conjure deep thought, to challenge mindsets and to change lives. He spoke like a poet, using parable, overstatement, metaphor, sarcasm, and dramatic action. Storytelling was His favourite way to communicate and reveal truth. However, not only did Jesus tell stories full of meaning and purpose, but He also lived a life full of meaning and purpose.
He lived in a way which encouraged people to step up while challenging others to step down. He held Himself with dexterity which raised intrigue, whilst also flipping tables which raised eyebrows. He extended grace to the sinner, instilling value, whilst challenging the values of the religious. Without doubt, the influence of His stories and His life has had an unparalleled impact on humanity. Multiplied millions have fashioned their lives and beliefs on His words and His life.
As followers of Jesus, we are empowered to do the same as Jesus. We are empowered to encourage, raise intrigue, extend grace, instil value, and show and tell the goodness and power of God. In the book of Acts, before ascending to Heaven, Jesus releases his followers to be power-filled storytellers. He says:
“I promise you this — the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces — even to the remotest places on earth!” — Acts 1:8 TPT
We can feel confident to tell great stories and live great lives because we have been given the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t just show us how to live and then leave us on our own; no, He empowered us. The same power that opened the eyes of the blind and raised the dead has been given to us. The same Holy Spirit which inspired the writings of the Bible and revives the repentant heart lives in us. We can live confident to share Jesus knowing we have the Holy Spirit with us.
After being empowered, we are simply asked to be messengers. To show and tell the goodness and power of God.
We don’t need to be eloquent preachers with a pulpit or a famous evangelist with a big story. We just need to use our everyday moments as our pulpit to share Christ’s big story. The stories we tell about Jesus and the way we live like Jesus can bring freedom, healing, and hope to others.
Generally speaking, over the years, we have been better protectors of the Gospel story than purveyors of it. We have gone in to fight for and protect the Gospel rather than show its power and tell its story. While this has been the way, it doesn’t have to be the way.
Consider this a call to tell better stories and live better lives. Not because we are better, rather because we know a God who can change people’s lives for the better. Let’s capture imagination and replace the cringe factor with a curiosity factor. Let’s connect with people’s emotions and have them asking questions rather than asking to leave.
Let’s raise our own level of living so we can see people raised to life. Let’s keep telling our God stories so that people can encounter God and have a story of their own.
Reuben Skewes is an Australian pastor’s kid by birth, a graphic designer by trade and a husband and father by choice. He spent many years working with troubled teens, served as a pastor in his local church and currently is pioneering new ways to combine mission and technology to share Jesus.