One of those books was The Sticky Faith Guide for your Family. It is just packed with stuff, as you can see in my review here.
But the best part to come out of this book, was the paragraph about sharing your story with your children.
So we did.
Many, many of our friends and all our children heard stories about how we each came to faith in Christ.
There were a few blow-you-out-of-the-water faith conversions, and a lot of stories about being raised in a Christian home and how they grew in their faith.
We and our kids need to hear BOTH stories! So many times people think because they don't have a dramatic story of conversion their story isn't worth listening to.
I, on the other hand, think those stories are the stories that our children NEED to hear, because for many of them, that will be similar to their story.
Because of this time together, I also learned some great bits of info about how important it is to share your story with others.
1. It grows frienships. If you have friends that you are more acquaintances with, try sharing your story with them over coffee or dinner, and ask if they'll do the same. So many friends that shared during camp, I had NO idea about the things they've done and lived through. It gives you a place to start asking good questions and getting past the superficial answers.
2. It grows faith. Just to sit around that campfire and hear how perfectly timed God worked in our friends lives to bring them to faith, increased my own faith. God knows the perfect time and the perfect way to show people to Him. Some were through tragic death, some were through a message at a youth group or Bible camp, some were a gradual realization of their sin and God's holiness. In each case, God's care and love showed through.
3. It helps share the gospel. Think about it, no one is going to argue with you that your salvation story is wrong. It is your personal story. There is no argument. You are able to give an account for the hope that is in you and let Christ do the rest.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...
4. It helps encourage our children to do the same. If they see and hear us sharing our true inner selves, our ugly hard parts, and how Christ changed each of us individually and carefully, it will help them grow in their faith and relationships and love for others.
I challenge you to think through your salvation story. Have a long version (5+ minutes) and a short and sweet version (>1 minute).
After you have done that, shoot an email to that couple or family in your church you've been wanting to get to know better and ask them over to your place for dinner or dessert and give them a heads up that you want to share your story and ask if they wouldn't mind sharing theirs with you and your children.
It's pretty awesome!