Three years ago I had lunch with a “new” friend. Meredith was someone I knew of, but didn’t “know”. I LOVE LUNCH DATES LIKE THAT! 🙂
I remember us sharing about our families, activities, work, etc. and then one of us asked the other about our “story” (honestly, it was probably Meredith that did the initial “ask”!). I loved hearing about her journey with God and loved sharing mine with her. At some point during this process, we discussed how we didn’t even know some of our closest friend’s or extended family member’s “stories”. This began some brainstorming conversations (mostly over Facebook messages)…and a plan was made.
So, about this time – back in 2012, we each sent some emails, fb messages and texts to friends and family to encourage them to share their story. We asked them to write (in one or two sentences) about when they asked Jesus into their hearts and share it as their facebook status on Good Friday. We had no idea who would participate and how it would go but – felt TOTALLY led (ok…maybe “pushed”) by God to make the suggestion.
It was AWESOME! I mean…REALLY cool! Meredith and I messaged several times that day saying, “Oh my gosh…can you believe this?” I remember seeing people post that I didn’t even contact…and then their friends responding under that status. People sent us messages asking if they could forward our message to their friends…”Ummmm-Absolutely!”.
First: I’ll admit that I’m a “Jesus changed me” junkie and love hearing about people’s relationships with Him so – this was FOOD for my SOUL! I loved seeing and reading people’s words – acknowledging their need for a Savior and honoring Jesus for His gift of salvation. I loved reading the details of where/when they began to follow Him.
Next: It wasn’t meant to be “preachy”, judgmental, start any harsh debates or shove anything down someone’s throat. It was just a status – giving honor and thanks to THE ONE that deserves it. With that said, I do feel that it was truly a conversation starter. I was actually contacted by two individuals that weekend who asked questions…one actually has her own story now (YAHOO!) and the other continues to process (I’m LOVING walking through her questions with her).
Finally: I loved feedback from people that participated. I received messages that included:
* “Thanks for the push – I’ve never admitted PUBLICLY that I am a Christian. I think some of my old friends will be shocked. This is a great way to start a conversation.”
* “This was a bold step for me – please pray for my parents who might not be thrilled with my beliefs being different than theirs.”
* “I’ve wondered how to put it out there – especially with co-workers, since it’s not easy to bring up the “I’m a Christian, are you?” deal at the office. Can’t wait to see how/if some of them reply.”
SO…it was soooooooooooo great – we didn’t do it the following year or the year after!??! Yea…about that…?? Last year we actually texted about it…but didn’t follow through…this year we want to make it happen.
In order to track the posts (remember, I’m a fan of reading life-change!), we searched for a hashtag to ask everyone to use…believe me, we SEARCHED.
Did you know that #bestdecisionever could be pics of engagements OR eating a bag of chips for breakfast? And any tag with “savior”, “jesus”, “redeemer” can pull up some cool stuff…and some NOT so cool stuff (sad but true).
What we have come up with is #thatsmystorywhatsyours . I think it’s non-threating, but also causes one to think, “Yeah, I need to share my story more/ever” or “Yeah, what IS my story? Do I have one?”. It’s also not (from my search) being used…and there might be a reason for that (haha) – but I’m trusting God saved it for this! 🙂
Will you join us? We are asking those who want to participate to post a status sometime over Easter Weekend (that’s tomorrow/April 3rd – Sunday/April 5th). Our suggestion is to “keep it simple” in the actual post, but then if you feel led to give more details/longer version – maybe write that as a comment below your status? You could also use Instagram, twitter – whatever!
Just PLEASE – don’t forget to use the HASHTAG – #thatsmystorywhatsyours . ALSO – FEEL FREE TO SHARE THE IDEA WITH YOUR CIRCLE OF PEEPS (get the Easter Candy reference there? Who really eats those things? Sorry – I digress!)
You are welcome, of course, to use any additional hashtags you want – our suggestion is just a way to find all the responses.
So – I’ll go first…here’s what I’ll be posting on Friday, April 3rd…
I was about 9 years old, in my bedroom alone, when I first understood what John 3:16 meant and asked Jesus to be my Savior. Years later, in my early 20’s, I gave my relationship with the Lord much more of my time and attention. Thankful for this FREE (for me –He paid with His life) gift of salvation though His death on the cross. #thatsmystorywhatsyours
Whether you choose to post or not, I’d love to ask you to please join us in praying for this to be a great blessing this weekend. Thankful that I believe God uses “ALL THINGS for HIS GOOD” – that means social media too! 🙂
Thankful for Jesus…for His deep, deep love for me – love that led Him to the cross on my behalf. Happy Easter Friends –