I met Joseph last Sunday. He was easy to spot. The Sunday School class I was visiting is helping him walk the path back into connectedness after some time on the street.
Kay and I were speaking about our ministry with Global Church Movements. He asked if we could talk. He wants to influence people he knew while on the street but doesn’t feel he is getting through to them. He wanted to know how to get into ministry more like Kay and I described.
I encouraged him to develop his personal story into a powerful tool that he can share with those he has known. We talked through a shortened version of one of the sessions we teach on sharing your personal story (testimony). I asked him to read Acts 22 and Acts 26. Paul shares his story. I encouraged him to look for this structure in Paul’s story: 1) my life before receiving Christ, 2) how I received Christ and 3) my life after receiving Christ.
I asked Joseph to read Paul’s story out loud and time how long it took using a clock or watch. I told him that most readers can read Acts 22 (about 400 words) in about 3-4 minutes and Acts 26 (about 600 words) in 5-6 minutes. So if Paul can tell his story in 4-5 minutes, then why can’t we also work to develop a version of our story (about 400-500 words) to share in 3-4 minutes?
I encouraged him to think of one word that best described his life before Christ, one word that described how he come to know Christ, then one word that describes his life after receiving Christ. Then write 3-4 sentences expanding thoughts for each word. This will help him write a story that is focused around these 3 big ideas and flows smoothly. I suggested he practice telling this story until it is natural and he can tell his friends. I reminded him that, like Paul, he is not preaching a sermon but telling what God has done in his life.
Joseph was encouraged. He said that he’s tried telling his friends but he got lost and used too many words. He likes this idea and will work on it.
What about you? Do you have a 3 minute way to tell your story?