Earlier this year, Pastor Andrew highlighted three priorities we are pursuing as a faith family in 2019: Gospel Clarity, Missional Engagement and Being the Church (watch the video here). We want to take a moment to share with you how we’ll go about pursuing the priority of Missional Engagement in our Missional Communities by learning how to capture and convey the stories Jesus is giving us to tell.
Stories of how Jesus is forgiving our sin, covering our shame, dispelling our fear, reconciling our relationships, and restoring our identities are constantly being written within us and around us. See one example from Pastor Bryant of how we can learn to tell our stories, showcasing Jesus as the hero.
Jesus Gives Us Stories to Tell | Bryant Jones’ Story
I was born in Birmingham, AL to young, unwed, and unbelieving parents… the first of three boys. My parents later married but, because I was born before they were, I was given my mother’s maiden name. My brothers, being born after my parents were married, were given my father’s name… which means, although we had the same parents, I grew up with a different last name than the rest of my family.
The seeming persistent state of my life at home was one of chaos. Drugs and heavy drinking were par for the course in my house. And as a result, in many ways due the the dysfunction of my parent’s relationship and their own upbringing, so was domestic violence… there was oftentimes shouting and fighting, even to the point of having to call the police.
My answer to the chaos was manipulation… it’s what I put my trust in to try and bring order to the chaos of my life. Being in leadership roles very early in life, I tried to control my surroundings, situations and relationships with people through manipulation. But it was exhausting, and there was never a guarantee that things would go the way I wanted them to. It was through the faithful witness of both my grandmothers that I was exposed to the story of Jesus as I went to church with them. I learned that he was God become man to rescue people from the chaos of their lives in a broken world; that he lived a perfect life — always doing what God wanted and required— but then died in the place of broken people. But didn’t stay dead — he rose from the grave three days later, showing that he had control over everything, even death! I also learned that if I turned from trusting in my way, and would trust in Him, he would quiet the chaos in my life and give me lasting peace; that God would adopt me into his family and call me his own. At the age of 14, I stopped trusting in manipulation as the means of bringing peace into my life and, instead, put my hope and trust in Jesus!
Since then, my life has been marked with the peace that Jesus gives, even in the midst of life’s chaos. Instead of using manipulation to control others, I have the freedom to lovingly serve people — my family, my church, my neighbors… the joy of pointing them to Jesus, who can bring life from death, joy from sadness, and peace from chaos.
To learn how to share your story in this simple yet powerful way, be sure to connect with a Missional Community… if you’re not plugged in, you can check here to find an MC near you!