[symple_heading style=”” title=”Sharing the Story of Jesus” type=”h1″ font_size=”40″ text_align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”30″ color=”undefined” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]
This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.
For use: Sept 6 – 12
Texts: Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 4:7-11; Mark 5:1-20; Hebrews 10:19-22; Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 1:30
The future of storytelling is … video games? Yes, according to actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “The future of storytelling, it’s gonna be video games,” the Third Rock from the Sun star said. “I don’t really think it’s really gonna be filmmakers who figure out how to do that. It (games) feels like the most groundbreaking storytelling that’s like, completely in a whole different realm than anything we’ve seen before. I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be the ‘feature film’ form.”
Although Gordon-Levitt still stars in several big film projects, he’s now involved in producing video games such as Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Watch Dogs Legion.
That could also impact how we share the gospel in the future. In fact, Wikipedia outlines a list of 113 Christian video games published since 1982. The report identifies a Christian video game as “a video game that incorporates themes from Christianity and is consistent with Christian values.”
Storytelling is the vehicle used to spread the message of Jesus and the kingdom of God since the inception of Christianity. We are called to be witnesses to the power of God in our lives, and we do that by telling our stories. What was life like in the past? How did God make an impact in our lives? What is God doing in our lives now? In that witness we can easily incorporate the story of Jesus, and how He’s still impacting lives today. Part of our story even involves envisioning life with Jesus in the future—telling a story of life that hasn’t taken place yet.
One of the hallmarks of Scripture is its brutal honesty in its storytelling. We are not surprised today when a biography glosses over some of the more unpleasant incidents in the life of its subject. The Bible has none of that. Our lesson references the story of John, the beloved disciple, the apostle of love. Yet we know that he was also a “Son of Thunder,” an angry young man who would gladly firebomb a whole village—obliterating guilty and innocent alike. Because we have his story, angry young men today can relate to John and envision a new life of peace. Our stories help others see who they can become with Jesus.
For instance, healed lepers, the blind and lame shared their stories of salvation well before Jesus sent the disciples to spread the gospel to the world. Anyone who has an experience with Jesus can be a preacher of the gospel simply by telling his or her story. And as we look to the future and how we can incorporate our spiritual gifts in our witness, we can look to those with video gaming skills to help tell the gospel of the kingdom to every nation, tongue and people.
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Connecting: Whose story has had a significant impact on you? What was it about his or her story that influenced you? Over Zoom or whatever other safe way you are meeting together, share with your group one brief aspect of a story that has made a difference in your life.
Sharing: How do you best deal with any reticence you have when it comes to sharing the story of your relationship with Jesus?
- I say a silent prayer before beginning
- I am an unabashed sanguine and can talk to anyone, anytime about Jesus
- I always ask for permission before giving my testimony
- I don’t have a story to tell
- Sometimes I’m a bit nervous, but when the Holy Spirit takes over I find myself saying things I’d never planned on
Applying: Share techniques for recording yourselves giving a short testimony. Those who are more tech-savvy can help the others understand the best way to use whatever technology is available to you. Plan to video your personal recordings this week, and establish a place to post your stories for the rest of your group members to view.
Valuing: Is there someone you are close to who you think needs to hear the story of Jesus and your testimony? Do you feel called to tell that story, but you are hesitant? Privately pray for God to give you the courage and an open opportunity to share.
~ Chuck Burkeen