Group Discussion Guide

Session

7

|

Share Your Stories

The greatest gift we can ever give someone who doesn't yet know Jesus is an introduction to Him. Sharing our life stories is the most powerful way to show the transforming power and salvation offered through Jesus Christ. When we tell our stories of transformation, we tell the story of God.

get started!PDF VersionTake 2-min surveyI Want to be baptized!I Want To Be Baptized

Tell us what you think!

We hope you had a great experience with our Life in Rhythm study. Please take two minutes to complete this short survey and let us know how we can serve you better.

Take 2-min survey

Session Agenda

Watch Video

Video available

October 31, 2021

Connect & Reflect

  1. Reflecting back on this weekend’s message on Share Your Stories or the video message recap we just watched together, how did you sense God’s Spirit speaking to you? Any new things that you learned? Any new steps that He was stirring you to take? 
  1. Did you interact with the Daily Reflections this past week? If so, were any of them impactful? Feel free to look through what you recorded in your Life in Rhythm journal as you share with the group. 
  1. For many of us, just thinking about the possibility of sharing our story makes us feel uncomfortable. Dave and Jon Ferguson, along with Pastor Aaron Ophaug, offer helpful insights and biblical perspectives to empower us to work through four reluctant reasons that can make us hesitant: 
  • I just don't have what it takes — So many people think sharing their stories is only for super religious people who understand the Bible backward and forward. After all, what if a debate breaks out or someone asks a question you can't answer? Bottom line, you will never have all the answers to people's most challenging questions. But what you do have is better: you have the Spirit of God! When Jesus sent his disciples out to share his good news, he said to them, “Don't worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking — it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19b-20 NLT). 
  • I don't want to impose my beliefs on my friends and family — Humbly sharing the difference that Jesus has made in your life is not imposing your beliefs on anyone. If you believe what you've found in Jesus is good news — the most life-changing, eternity-altering news you could ever share — then why wouldn't you use your words to tell others about it? To keep it to yourself would be like hoarding bread when others are going hungry. Paul writes, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But then he goes on to ask: “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:13-14 NLT). Friend, your words can help point people desperate for food to life-saving bread. Your story is compelling (not imposing) because it's your story of how you found the love of God in Jesus. 
  • Sharing my story makes me feel uncomfortable — Yes, you might feel uncomfortable telling your story, but are you really going to let your feelings stop you from sharing words that could mean the difference in the life and eternity of your friend? While the discomfort is real, the nervousness and awkwardness you experience is so worth it when you consider the impact and significance. And remember, sharing your story doesn't have to be complicated. (Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson, B.L.E.S.S.: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World, p. 120-123)
  • I fear I might be rejected — Aaron Ophaug, Eastvale Campus Pastor, shares this: “One of the things that stopped me from sharing my faith was a fear that maybe I would get rejected … that I would talk about Jesus, and someone would say ‘No.’ But then God really impressed upon me that it’s not me they’re saying ‘no’ to, it’s Jesus. And my responsibility is not to get someone to cross the line of faith; I can’t do that. No human being can do that. My responsibility is to just share about Jesus … just be Jesus, and how they respond is between them and God. ‘Success’ in evangelism is not whether someone says, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Jesus; it’s simply stepping out to share about Jesus … that’s what matters.”


Group Discussion: Which of these reluctant reasons do you relate to most? How could the insights offered in response to those reasons give you more confidence to share your story?

Invite someone to pray, asking for the Spirit’s leading as each of your group members prepare to write their personal faith story. 

Rhythm Experience (Optional)

download pdf version

Are you ready to share your stories? It’s now your opportunity to write a 3-5 minute version of your story and then practice sharing it with someone in the group. We suggest using a three-part outline to help you write your story. That same outline is apparent in the story of Jesus healing a blind man in John 9:1-34: 

  • Part 1: My life before Jesus
  • I was blind — the man describes his life before meeting Jesus. 


  • Part 2: How I met Jesus 
  • He put mud on my eyes — the man explains how he encountered Jesus.


  • Part 3: My life since I met Jesus
  • I was blind … but now I see! — the man shares the difference Jesus made in his life.


Dave and Jon Ferguson offer this commentary on Jesus’ interaction with the blind man:

“As Jesus went along, he saw a man blind from birth” (John 9:1). We don't know this man's name. We only know that he's blind and has been all his life. Then a little later, John tells us he's the man who used to sit and beg (John 9:8). So not only is he blind, but he also begs for a living. 

As Jesus comes across this man, he does a very strange thing. He spits on the ground, makes mud from it, and spreads the mud over the blind man's eyes. If this were my story, I'm not sure I would have loved the idea of someone spreading spit-filled mud on my eyes. But the blind man cooperates and follows Jesus’ next instructions to wash out his eyes. 

Then look what happens: “So the man went and washed and came back seeing” (John 9:7). A miracle! This man who had been blind since birth suddenly can see! Can you even imagine? For years you've lived in utter darkness, and in a matter of minutes Jesus smears mud over your eyes and now you can see as clear as day. 

Obviously, the guy is blown away — and he can't keep quiet. When his neighbors ask him what happened, he says: “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see” (John 9:11). 

Notice this man can't fully explain how it happened. And I'm guessing he was a little hesitant to share about the spitting part, so he simply tells him what Jesus did and how his life is now forever changed. 

What I love about this story is that we can't always explain exactly what happened after we chose to follow Jesus either. We just know what happened. And that's OK. 

Later, when the man is asked again about what happened, he says, “I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25). I love his reply! He didn’t try to quote Scripture or articulate theology. He simply shared his story. (Ferguson, p. 123-124) 


Here are five story-writing tips for writing your story:

  • Ask God for help. Ask for God’s guidance in the words you use and the stories you share. 
  • You be You. Write your story the way you speak. Don’t try to sound like someone else. 
  • Keep it real. Be honest in how you tell your story. Authenticity connects us with others.
  • Keep it short. Keep it to 3–5 minutes. That length allows you to share it in a conversation. 
  • Practice out loud. Practicing will help you become comfortable to share it from memory. (Ferguson, p. 130)


Here are some questions to consider as you write your story in the space below:

  •  Part 1: My life before Jesus
  • What was your life like before you met Jesus? 
  • What did you feel was lacking in your life?
  • What were your hopes and dreams?
  • If you grew up in the church, describe your life before seriously following Jesus.
  • If you met Christ as a child, your story will focus more on Parts 2 and 3.


  • Part 2: How I met Jesus 
  • How did you become a Christ-follower? 
  • What events and experiences caused you to consider Jesus? 
  • How did you actually invite Christ into your life?


  • Part 3: My life since I met Jesus
  • What overall difference has following Jesus made in your life? 
  • How have your thoughts, attitudes, and actions changed?
  • How have your relationships with others changed?
  • How have your goals and priorities changed? 
  • How has following Jesus helped you in the good and the hard times of life? 
  • How does the hope of eternal life affect how you live your everyday life? 


Special Note: If you’re someone who is still asking questions and has not yet committed your life to Christ, we want to invite you to simply share where you are in your spiritual journey, as you feel comfortable. All of us are in different places spiritually. As group members share their stories, you’ll hear how each one has taken different spiritual steps to arrive at where they are today.

Instructions for writing, sharing, and debriefing our three-part stories:

  • Before you begin writing, ask God for guidance in the words you use and the details you share. 
  • Spend 20 minutes writing your 3-5 minute story, using the three-part outline. It won’t feel finished but it’s a start. 
  • Spend 15 minutes sharing your story with someone. Take turns sharing your stories with each other. 
  • Ask for any feedback. What was clear or confusing? Any suggestions for improvement?
  • Spend 15 minutes debriefing the group’s story-writing and story-telling experience, led by your leader. 
  • Ask for feedback on the story-writing experience. 
  • Ask for feedback on the story-telling experience.
  • Ask for 1-2 people to share their story with the entire group. 
  • Spend 15 minutes praying for opportunities to share your story:
  • Pray individually: 
  • Ask for God’s guidance in knowing who needs to hear your story. 
  • Pray that you’ll be available and ready to share your story as He leads you.
  • Remember our responsibility is to share our story. Their response is up to God. 
  • Pray together as a group:
  • Have group members share how God might be leading them to share their story. 
  • Ask God for boldness, clarity and confidence when God calls us to share our story.. 

Next Week:

Worship

Next week we will dive into our seventh rhythm, Worship - Both in our personal lives and as a church family, we intentionally praise God as our King, expressing our gratefulness for all He has done and giving Him all glory as we worship and celebrate all that He is. 

Between now and our next meeting together, your homework is to complete the Daily Reflections 31-35.


View daily reflectionscoming soon...

What's Next?

We hope you had a great experience with our Life in Rhythm study. Please take two minutes to complete this short survey and let us know how we can serve you better. We'd also love to here your story! Please share a story of how you’ve sensed God speaking into your life or your group through the Life in Rhythm series!

Take 2-min surveyMy StoryBaptism Signup