Saturday, January 28, 2012

Encounter Jesus

About a year ago, just after I published Second Story, my friend and I started dreaming of the next book project.  What did the church and its people truly need in order to take additional steps toward inviting others to know and follow Jesus?

We talked about her dad and his days of ministry to college students long ago.  He had this series of studies about Jesus that he simply called the John studies--they went through many stories from John where Jesus had important, life-changing conversations with people.  She explained how every time he took people through that study, they would give their lives to Christ.

We needed something similar for today.  The problem with the old studies, at least for today's culture, was that they were written in kind of a fill-in-the-blank style.  They were more authority based than story based.  So we started to ask ourselves, what would work today?  What would introduce people to Jesus--who he said he was and who he showed he was?  What would give people an opportunity to respond to his claims and his invitation without being overly simplistic? 

So I spent the next year writing these seven stories for a group of people who were willing to come to my house to participate in "storying" on a Sunday night.  We met off and on for the whole year.  That group saw me through my dad's death.  We prayed for each other.  We grew together.  And along the way, every single person saw their lives changed in some way.  We only meet sporadically right now, but we saw several take a significant and life-changing step into Jesus's kingdom.  Most of them are now involved in churches in some way.  Along the way we met Jesus, and he changed us.

I'm working on an app so that the stories will be easily sharable.  But for now, there's a dedicated page on my website that links you back to all the times I blogged about our discussions after the fact.  I'm praying every day that through these stories, many, many people will be introduced to Jesus and hear his invitation to join his kingdom fellowship and work.

If there's anything I can do to support or help you along the way in that endeavor, let me know.

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