Welcome back to the continuation of what I thought would be a cool adult "vacation bible school" this summer - the review, chapter by chapter of Forming Intentional Disciples. If you would like to review the complete study guide for this Session, click here and scroll down to Session 11.
This week's chapter is the one we've all been waiting for . . . the secret sauce is revealed! Well, maybe not so secret and maybe once you set the book down you realize that it's time to put your mouth where your money is? As our author, Sherry Weddell so pointedly reminds us,
"We can no longer assume that even an educated adult knows the basic story of Jesus Christ. But knowing this story is essential to conversion: Our own personal witness can help illuminate and make living, compelling, and believable aspects of Jesus’ story, but it cannot take the place of Jesus’ story."
On the one hand it is startling to me to not assume that everyone knows the Jesus story; on the other hand that realization makes me feel somehow, a little bit emptier knowing that so many people are missing out. There has been a well laid out path in our book. It's now time for us to tell His story, not just our story.
Maybe you weren't expecting to end up here when you started the book? Maybe you thought there were going to be some "magic words" we'd learn about and could use in forming intentional disciples? Are you disappointed?
Telling the Jesus story can at first seem daunting for most of us. You might have even convinced yourself already this is perhaps something better left to the experts. Sister, Father, or even the deacon, "they may be able to recount the history more authoritatively and better than me", without giving it a second thought. But what I took away from this chapter is this; it just might be more effective if the seeker actually heard it from you or me - one with whom they have built a level of trust. It is important to recognize as our author points out,
"The essentials of this story can be broken down into a series of “acts” that need to be told, but the order and timing may vary according to the needs and questions of the hearer."It is time to step out of the boat - but how? This is our salvation history - we know the "acts". We here them all during Lent and especially in an all-together version at the Easter Vigil. Break them down, practice them with another disciple first, a trusted friend and believe that the Holy Spirit will guide you. Consider the four questions posed in the book.
1. Does our friend know the essential “acts” of the Story?
2. Has he or she connected the dots? Does he or she understand the story as a whole?
3. Does our friend understand the personal signiﬁcance of the Story?
4. What is or has been his or her response to the story?
We are Jesus' hands a feet - and this case perhaps His proclaimer for the seeker. We must tell the Jesus story and strive to get the seeker to ask . . .
“What does this mean for me?”
Click on the the following link to get back to the discussion at catholicmom.com.