Sharing your story with your group can be exciting and intimidating. There’s the weird tension of what to say and what not to say. You may be asking yourself some questions like, “Should I share that part?” “What will they think of me?” “Can I really trust these people?”
There is no one single way to prepare your story. Some people write it up like a continual narrative. They plan every sentence and fill pages. Others draw a timeline. Still, others create a guide for themselves in the form of a list of key people, places, and events. However you prepare to share your story is up to you, but we do recommend thinking about it and practicing it beforehand.
It’s not that you have to divulge your deepest darkest secrets right now. But we hope that as you all grow closer you’ll come to place where, if you wanted to, you’d feel like you could. Part of growing deeper as a group is knowing each other better. And a great way to start doing that is by sharing your story.
So what do you say?
Here’s the goal in all of it: If you were to be tasked with giving a stranger an accurate snapshot of your life and who you are, what would you say? As you craft your story to share, that’s what you should be trying to answer.
As you consider this here are are some types of questions that may help you in what you prepare:
Relationships: Who are the people who have influenced me the most? Who are the people that are the most important to me? When/how were those relationships formed? For example, if you’re married, how long have you been together? When and how did you meet your spouse?
Circumstances: What have you come from? What are your greatest successes? Have you had to overcome a hardship or obstacle? What are your greatest failures? Did you learn anything from them?
Faith: What was your religious background like? Looking back at your life, can you think of ways that you believe God has influenced your relationships and circumstances? Would you classify yourself as a Jesus follower? If so, when did that become real to you? If not, what hesitations do you have towards Christianity?
Rehearse your story and time yourself:
No one will be at group with a stopwatch, but timing yourself will make you see if you need to add or cut anything. Your awareness of time will also help you to be considerate of other group member’s stories.
One last thing:
As you prepare, you may be tempted to sell yourself short or to think that your story isn’t important. It’s not uncommon for people to think just gloss over this and shortchange themselves. Some dismiss the events of their lives as boring. Still others think that they’ve got to indulge in drama to make it more interest.
Don’t do that.
Your story, the one that is actually yours, is important. At our church we believe you are in your group for a reason. That Your story matters to God and to the other members of your group. For that reason, join in and know that a supportive community is waiting to hear what makes you...you.