Check out the previous post for a longer discourse about this, but I wanted to give you guys my new “plan” for telling someone about Jesus. It isn’t easy. It will be a pain to memorize, but that is exactly why I like it. I am tired of easy answers and tired of acrostics that the gospel has been forced into.
I also wanted to come up with a non-threatening and non-confrontational way for my students to share their faith. So I decided that the focus would be on “my God story” or the story of whoever was doing the sharing. Instead of telling people they are sinners and need to change their life, this plan focused on telling someone how I realized I was a sinner and how God changed my life. It is basically an extended outline for telling your own personal testimony.
This is not a plan for door to door evangelism. This is not a plan to share the gospel with people who don’t know you. This is a plan to share the gospel with people who see God in your life and who want to know more about it.
Anyway, that is enough explanation. After Kelli’s comment I feel all of this pressure, but I don’t think it is some radical new idea. It is just my way of helping students to share their faith. Check out the outline after the jump. You can also check download a .pdf of the reminder “tract” that I made for my students.
My Story Tract .pdf (the fold above number 6 is a “fold to” line. All of the other lines are cut lines. Cut out both column and then fold the tract up on itself.)
Begin by telling your “God Story”
The History: Tell a little of your life before you met God
The Awakening: What happened to make you realize that you needed God in your life.
The Joy: How you felt coming to know him.
The Defeats: Be honest about the times when you struggle in your life. Good for a personal time when you had struggles and God help you through as well.
The Now: What benefits do you have from following God in your life today.
Ask Permission to Share More: I don’t understand everything, but I know that God has made a difference in my life. If you would like to hear it I would love to tell you about how God worked through the Bible and events in my life to change my life. Here is what I have seen:
God is bigger than me
- Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God…He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. (Isaiah 40:28)
- It is hard for me to admit sometimes, but God knows more than I do and He is bigger, wiser, and more amazing than I am.
But that same God wants to have a relationship with me
- I don’t understand why, but because of his love he wants to get to know me
- He knows my name. He knows me and he wants me to know more about Him.
- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But I messed up and tried to run from God
- (This one gets tricky if you were saved young. Don’t lie, but talk about times in your own life when you tried to fill the God void with other things.)
- I was determined to “Do it on my own” to try to make things work on my own strength.
- In the end that failed.
- My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
- Imagine someone is deathly thirsty. You offer them water to drink and instead they pick up a glass of salt and drink it down.
- That is what I did. God was offering me what would fill the need in my heart, but instead I tried to fill that need with things that ultimately just made me more thirsty.
- The Bible also says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
- I was trying my best to fill up my heart with something other than God.
Transitional Statement: So I was separated from God and had no way of being good enough to be with Him. This is where Jesus comes in.
Jesus came to restore that relationship
- But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
- (The main outline just has Romans 5:8, but Romans 5:6-7 will give context if you want to use them as well)
- You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8)
So I had a choice.
- I could continue running from God and trying to make life work on my own or I could accept the sacrifice of Jesus.
- God wouldn’t force me to choose him
- He will continue to pursue someone with His love, but He will never force them
- But when I looked at what had gone on before and what God had done for me I had a choice and I chose Jesus.
- That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10)
- I looked and saw that I had a choice to either choose to keep trying to do things my own way, to keep trying to drink the salt and hope that it would satisfy my thirst or I could choose Jesus who loves me and died for me.
- I chose Jesus
The Benefits of Following Jesus
Since then I haven’t been perfect, there have been times in my life that I have tried to do things in my own way,
But there are a few things that I know
- I am now a Child of God and part of His family.
- He will never leave me or turn his back on me.
- I have a purpose in life because God has plans for me.
- No matter what I face I know that I don’t face it alone, because God is with me.
- I know that I will go to heaven when I die
- Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
- You can enhance this section by remembering more of the 23rd Psalm.
- The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4)
The Surrender Prayer
Lord, take all of me and do what you will, lead me wherever you want, because I am tired of running. You are bigger than me. You know more than me. You are the creator of the universe and you know better than I do how to live this life. On top of all of that you love me and have proven that love on the cross. You have been pursuing me with that Love and offering me life beyond my wildest dreams. I have been trying my best to be the “god” of my own life, but that hasn’t worked out. I’m sorry for placing myself above you. I see now that you are the one true God and you and you alone are worthy of my praise. So Lord, I give up. I want to stop running. I want to surrender to you as the one true Lord. I don’t know what all that means, but right now for all that I can see I give my life to you. Lord, I don’t have the strength even to surrender to you. My heart cries out and begs to be the center of attention, but I know that you have the strength to save me from my sin and turn my heart to you. I also know that you love me enough to continue to make me more and more like you.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You alone are God!