Our lives are made up of stories. We tell stories because they illuminate our life stages: childhood mistakes and joys, falling in love, raising children, taking risks, making important decisions, all of these events form a narrative that tells us who we are. There are few stories in my family that have been passed down for generations. Some of them are probably not even close to the truth anymore, but people who are a part of my family know the stories. My grandfather, a pastor in the rural Midwest, was once paid with live chickens. My father sold honey out of a little red wagon as a child. My mother and uncle nearly drowned after making a raft and setting out on a river near the family farm. Without these stories, we wouldn’t be the family that we are.
Evangelism is storytelling. Our story is God’s story, beginning when creation was brought to birth, unfolding in miraculous and mysterious ways, following a desert people, all the way to a baby born in a stable in Bethlehem–a baby that would change everything. These stories are the story of our family–a people bound to one another and all of God’s people through time. Evangelism is nothing more than telling that story and letting God’s story speak for itself.
This message is adapted from “Go and Tell” written by Brooke Petersen in the May 2012 issue of Gather magazine.