July 5, 2008

Evangelizing with Stories

The more I tell stories and use them to talk about God and to present our Lord Jesus, the more I understand why God wrote 70% of his scriptures as narrative.

Thursday I went into the small town again. I went alone this time, but beginning next week I will accompanied by a man named José António. He participated in a workshop I taught on church planting and evangelizing family networks. His heart has been to do ministry in a rural area. God has placed us together. This is very good news.

In the small town, I first mailed a letter, then went to the barber shop where I got a hair cut and took advantage of the captive audience to tell the story from John 9 of Jesus curing a man who had been blind since birth. This was the first time I told a Bible story in the barber shop. It was well received. I may be getting more frequent haircuts soon.

From there, I went to the families on the hill. De had her baby and named him with a name from the bible. I went to her house and the extended family met there for our storying session. De's mother was present and is staying with her to help with the baby, so she participated for the first time. I told the same story.

The discussion we had about the story strayed from the power of Jesus to heal, to the purpose of God in suffering. We talked through the reasons people suffer and what hope they have. The greatest hope, the group resolved, was not to be healed, but to be resurrected because of Jesus.

After I prayed for God's blessing to be on the baby, I went to meet another family. It turned out they weren't home and I was able to meet with the local baker. He'd told me the other day that his life was better and that he has been trying to learn more about Jesus. I went to his bakery and he served me tea and cookies. As we sat there I told the same story once again, I then used the transition just given to me by the family on the hill, and told the story from John 11 as well. (When Jesus resurrected Lazarus) I was able to begin to call him to repentance and faith through these stories. Once again, I had to cut our conversation short and run to get the last bus out of town.

God is at work.

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