At Euless First UMC we have been on a Long and Winding Road since late August. This has been my sermon series, but it has also been an effort to get people to share their stories with one another.
I contend that coming to terms with one’s own faith story is the best exercise for sharing one’s faith. Sure, being able to argue someone under the table may convince them you are right (or at least that you are a better arguer). Being able to recite theories, scriptures, or proofs of God’s existence may also win attention. But unless and until your life offers something deep, lasting, and real about the God you claim to worship and follow, I’m afraid those around you are left with words and ideas, but not life.
On the way to thinking through one’s faith story, I have suggested 4 different forms:
- Your Story in 6 words: modeled after that famous short story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
- Tweet version: Your Story in 140 characters (or less)
- Elevator Pitch: something you can say in 30-45 seconds that leaves the listener wanting to know more, and
- Long Form – 300-500 words: (I know some don’t consider this long) Your Story in a page or two.
I have completed mine, and will be sharing them here over the next few days.
But before we get there, I had this thought as I sat down to begin to share these different versions of my story: until I thought about my life in an intentional way, it wasn’t really a story, but just rambling thoughts.
Which led me to the heading of this post: Do you know what you think? Whether it is your story or a football game you watched over the weekend; whether you tell your story in the context of God’s larger story or not, until you stop and consider what it is you think, you don’t really know.
It might seem obvious that one knows what one thinks – in general, or about any specific topic – until one can communicate it somehow to another person, I am not sure that he or she really does know what he or she thinks.
Do you know what you think? Could you tell me in a way that I understand?