10 Questions to Unlock Your Story

BLtoOlin_2_400x400“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Psalm 96:3NLT

It couldn’t be simpler. Spread the word about what God is up to. That sounds like the mission statement for this podcast!

Ok, the simple part is “Tell the stories.” The tricky part is, “How?” Not everyone is called upon to do it in a podcast.

The answers to that question are as diverse as the people who tell them.

We love to hear people tell their stories. As we continue to record them, we’re finding some people like to write their story. Some prefer to verbalize them using a basic outline. There are others who would rather be interviewed. Then there’s the segment who are unsure of their story or think they don’t have one good enough to share. Some of those quickly deflect our invitation, pointing toward someone else’s story, someone who’s got a “better” one.

We’ve wondered if the reaction people have to telling God’s stories might uncover what they think about themselves and about him. Do any of these questions sound familiar? Is God really at work in my life? Has he given me stories worth sharing? Am I included in that call to “declare his glory”?

The truth is that every one of us has stories that reflect a God who is alive and active right here in our midst. He’s invited you to share these stories. If the heavens declare the glory of God why wouldn’t your life do so as well?

So, the only question is, “What are your stories?” Just in the past month, how have you seen God at work? Stop. Really think about it.

To help people coax those stories to the surface, we encourage them to pray through a few questions. Sometimes the answers reveal God’s handiwork in surprising ways.

Try it yourself. Sit with these questions for a bit. Does one jump out at you? Ask God about it. Recall the details of the story. Maybe there’s someone in your life who needs to hear this story.

  1. Describe a time you unmistakably experienced God’s presence.
  2. How did God meet you in a difficult time?
  3. How has God’s pursuit of you been transformational?
  4. Is there a Scripture passage that speaks differently to you now vs. when you first read it. What led to that transformation?
  5. Have you ever done anything seemingly illogical or irrational in the passionate pursuit of a relationship with Jesus? What’s the story there?
  6. Share a time when you said no to yourself in order to say yes to Jesus.
  7. Describe when God “re-routed” your life.
  8. Describe when you felt “helpless” as a child in relation to God the Father.
  9. How has God transformed you to see earthly pleasures and pain differently.
  10. How has God provided a beautiful gift that was so unmistakably from him.

Audience. Kindness. Creativity. Emotion.
Of course there’s much more to creatively sharing your story so that it engages listeners. Keep in mind why you’re telling the story. If you’re recording it in a private journal, chances are it’s just for you. Maybe you feel led to fill the pages with details in that case. But if you’re sharing it with someone else, remember to involve your listeners. Don’t bore them with endless detail. Learn to keep it to just what is needed.

Your listener is sharing their valuable time. They deserve kindness, humbleness and graciousness and even a touch of creativity. Jesus was that kind of storyteller. And don’t be afraid of the emotion in your story. Vulnerability and authenticity help your listener connect.

But don’t stop there. Ask your listener to share a story. Be a good listener.

If you’re just beginning a journey to tell your story well, these are a few clues to get you started. So, go ahead and think outside the box. Keep in mind that God has crafted you to uniquely share what he is up to.

We’re excited to share more creative ideas and resources in future blog posts. And we’d love to hear about your adventures in telling stories.