How can we convey the love of God to our neighbours in a post-Christian world that has largely forgotten the gospel of Jesus Christ?
In Living His Story, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2021, Hannah Steele uncovers liberating and practical ways of sharing the gospel story afresh. With warmth and encouragement, She shows us how we can live Jesus’ story in our own lives simply by being the people God made us and allowing people to be drawn to him through our natural gifts.
Living His Story is a Lent devotional that will change the way you think about evangelism, show how ideally suited it is for the world we live in and fill you with confidence in sharing God’s love with the people around you.
Set out in six sessions to take you through Lent, each chapter of the 2021 Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book can be used as a single study for individuals or small groups to prepare for Easter. It will help you find space to see evangelism from a new practical perspective.
I really enjoyed this book and found it extremely engaging throughout. Easy read. I like the further for discussion topics after each chapter. It had the same feel of The Life and Work of the Priest and also had at the start of each chapter little verses.
It talks about how evangelism works and how to re image it that it should be the most natural thing in the world. She adds about COVID into a few parts and into the relevance of the gospel and that we do not need to fear death.
She tells of all the misconceptions of evangelism in chapter 1 and how she turns them around into truths. That it is for all of us and not experts.
Chapter 2 Is how we can respond to God and she shares her stories on how she shared the good news- even a random chat at a hairdressers lead to the conversation. That we are all storytellers. Jesus told 35!
Chapter 3 was how personal stories can authenticate the gospel and I loved the story of Lara on page 55 (grew up a Roman Catholic but when she got to uni she hit the party scene hard- one day she went to the beach that was empty as she suffered from insomnia and regularly walked the beach- she cried out to god of what she was living for and then heard a voice in her head to tell her to look around and saw a homeless man and the voice told her that was what she was living for and that the realisation was that she focused on herself. She then went back home and made the man a cuppa and went back to him feeling a sense of change. Afterwards she dug out bible verses her mum gave to her during her hard times. A week later an old friend randomly asked if she wants to attend her church and since going it changed her and is now training for ordination. What a dramatic turn of events!
Chapter 3 also tells us how we can share our stories as we all have a story to share “like a thumbprint which is unique to us, so is the story of our faith journey”
Chapter 4 is learning how to have life transforming chats and how Jesus related to all different kinds of people. He prioritised people and gave them all time individually. As a church we need to be thinking of how we spend time outside church the 110 waking hours we are not there then the 2 or three that we are. Also who we spend time with and not confined to – get out the safety zone. He allowed himself to be interrupted and listened plus he knew how to ask good questions. That’s what we need to do.
Chapter 5 is how the Spirit guides us when we speak and that it is an integral part of evangelism. God does not have Favourites! She talks about the pandemic and how people stepped outside comfort zones for instance a lady called Laura who had Covid done videos on YouTube on the experience of the virus and how faith was helping her- and found non Christians engaging with her-she also found a blackboard and a basket and filled them with booklets as many people walk past her house and so she wrote verses everyday with the booklets and noticed how some took i. It just shows that we don’t have to start huge.
Chapter 6 was all about building bridges of the gospel to books and film, to notice what’s going on around us and to understand what other people cherish as most important in life. I like how it talked about the Netflix show The Good Place 🙂 I liked that series (didn’t mention The Chosen but I feel that’s the best Christian series)
The last chapter is understanding different ways people come to faith. She compares the two roads- Damascus and Emmaus (I think I’m the Emmaus road). That we need to move forward from the negative or preconceptions of Christianity as most when to talk to someone/starting point of faith they already have some idea and it already be a reason why they have discounted it as being relevant to them. It guides us on how we can do this by developing an open mind to asking questions.
Overall it was a great straight forward introduction to evangelism and how to approach it with fresh ways. There are so many little more nuggets but it’s definitely book I will re-read many times.