by Jeff Allen, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Storytelling is an important part of any Bible lesson. People of every age, in every part of the world love to tell and listen to stories. As you know, Jesus told stories to teach important truths, and young people need to hear those true stories from the Bible. All too often kids are influenced by a make-believe world that’s not real and delivered through today’s modern media.
Along with the true stories of the Bible, some of the most important true stories kids need to hear are stories from your own spiritual “Greatest Journey.” I’ve shared many of my own stories with my daughters and the many kids I’ve worked with as a children’s pastor for years. I still occasionally get a child or a parent come up to me and remind me of the time I shared, and how it positively impacted them or their family.
Revelation 12:11 reads, “They triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”
You would never forget to focus on Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. However, there’s a second part to the verse above, “…by the word of their testimony…”. You have stories that are valuable to share with others from your own greatest journey with Jesus. You are a person of influence, and the people you influence most will be your own children. They will look at your example, your “Greatest Journey”, as they make their own decision whether or not to follow Jesus.
Your story is your testimony. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word Testimony means: “Proof or evidence that something exists.” You are living proof of God’s existence, His incredible grace, and His love. It’s important for you to share that proof. When appropriate, don’t be afraid to share both the good AND bad stories of your life. Just be sure to direct the story back to God’s redeeming grace and love.
A word of caution when sharing your story. Take into consideration the age of your children in order to best discern what is appropriate to share with them. Most parents treat their children as younger than they actually are and kids generally know more than parents give them credit for. However, an 8 year old should not be given a lot of negative personal details to process. Save those for later in life. Context and timing are key.
Sharing your “Greatest Journey” is about helping your children (and others) see the goodness of God in your life. You’re helping them understand that you are human just like they are and helping them discover that God loves them just as much as He loves you.
The Greatest Journey curriculum from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is a 12-session study that takes kids through the adventure of a lifetime as they start or continue on their Greatest Journey. It introduces kids to God’s great gift, how to walk with Him, and how to share that gift with others. Prepare your kids for the journey of a lifetime. You’re kids are ready! Are you? https://tgj.billygraham.org/