How can you stir up curiosity in someone who thinks the story of Jesus is irrelevant to their lives—especially at Christmas time?
We’re welcoming Darin and Joy Stevens, who live in the UK, where it’s not that people are against God; they just don’t think he’s relevant. So what can we learn from their experience as we engage an increasingly post-Christian culture and yet still seek to stir souls with the True Story of Jesus Christ?
Where else can I listen to the podcast?
Guest: Darin and Joy Stevens
Music: Cade Popkin Music
Sharing the Story at Christmas
In this bonus Christmas episode, we’re going to break from our pattern and focus in on sharing the story the Bible tells with others. This time of year offers us some unique opportunities.
I told a story about my son going from faucet to faucet, looking for hot water. That’s what people do, don’t they? and Christmas is a time when people are a little more aware than usual of their empty bucket, and their endless frustration—partly because of what they think Christmas should be like.
So as we interact with extended family, or attend parties, or connect with neighbors, how can we look for opportunities this Christmas to talk about the true story of God? How can we make the story relevant?
Guest Darin and Joy Stevens
Darin and Joy have served in youth ministries in the UK for over twenty years and have launched a new “StarttoStir” campaign, helping everyday people like us stir up curiosity in those who are seemingly disinterested in faith. How can we ask good questions and keep the conversation going (instead of shutting it down)? And how do we find a point of relevancy, for even bringing up something related to the Gospel?
Make sure you stick around till the end where Darin shared five different things we can look for to stir up conversations about faith. Since they live in the UK, they’re experiencing what we probably soon will in America: a completely post-Christian culture. They gave me so much to think about, and I know the same will be true for you. Connect with StarttoStir:
A Soul-Stirring Conversation
- 6:05 Most of us see Europe as trendsetting for America. What differences do you notice between the two cultures?
- 8:05 We discussed a culture that sees God as irrelevant. Joy said that in the UK, “Most people aren’t against God. They just don’t have any idea about him.” Shannon commented on how heartbreaking it is for people to be living outside of “Paradise” and not want back in; being fine with evicting God from their story. But God isn’t okay with this, because it’s His story!
- 11:30 Joy told about a woman who was frustrated that everything they were doing included God, and said, “I wish you could be good without God.”
- 14:00 Why do stories (as opposed to lectures with logic) move people, both inside and outside the Christian community?
- 17:00 Joy stated, “Everyone is living according to a story or a narrative. I need to understand other stories that other people are being formed by.” So how can we ascertain the narrative someone is living by?
- 21:30 How are stories compelling when we’re trying to share the gospel?
- 24:10 How does hurt and suffering create an opportunity to share the overarching story of the Bible?
- 26:50 Post-Christian young people aren’t responding to a logical Gospel presentation. Why not?
- 28:10 Darin talks about how youth believed the true things about Jesus yet didn’t see that the story was relevant, and why this is such a challenge.
- 32:20 How are little stories (as opposed to the overarching story) also helpful in sharing our faith?
- 35:10 How do we use the smaller stories to reconnect to the overarching story?
- 39:50 70% of people in the UK say that they have no intention of coming into a church building at any point in the future for any reason. So what are we going to do?
- 41:15 What are some ways to stir up spiritual curiosity among the seemingly uninterested?
- 44:30 Darin gave us five categories or “points of relevancy” for strating “soul stirring” conversations. These are situations we can watch for and respond to. (See also this instagram post.)
“Stories move us in ways that truth presented in bulleted form cannot.” —Joy StevensStories move us in ways that truth presented in bulleted form cannot. —Joy Stevens Click To Tweet
“A story draws you in. It causes you to step into it… to put yourself in the perspective of something or someone in the story.A story draws you in. It causes you to step into it... to put yourself in the perspective of something or someone in the story. - Darin Stevens Click To Tweet
Anybody want to read this book with me? It looks so great! Already in my cart. Joy mentioned we’ve got to have better words, which we all understand, to speak the Gospel into each other on a daily basis. I want to get better at this!
Joy also talked about “Gospeling” each other, and mentioned that she caught this concept from this book.
LIVE the Story
One of the ways you live like the story is true is by having an urgency to share it with others. If it’s true that people we love are lost, and that their sin separates them from God, won’t we do whatever we can to help them find the true story? As Darin said, each person has a soul. We can count on that! So let’s find ways to stir up curiosity, this Christmas, in the people God has places in our paths. Let’s use good questions, and look for points of relevancy. Let’s invite people into the story at God so much wants them to know.