While I was working at Starbucks, I was part of a group in Kansas City that was learning new Jesus stories every single week. We would practice together so that we could share them by heart, and we would commit to sharing these Jesus stories during the week. I would often share them at Starbucks while I was working. I shared them with my customers and I shared them with that my co-workers. People would often love these stores and want to jump into a conversation about Jesus.
A Story Instead of an Argument
One day one of my co-workers came up to me and was really concerned about the church. Another pastor had fallen from grace and she said, “Aren’t churches just full of hypocrites?” Instead of arguing with her and defending the church I said, “Did you know that Jesus didn’t like hypocrites either? In fact, to those who looked down upon others around them, Jesus told this story: Two men went up to the temple to pray. One a Pharisee and another a tax collector…”
Halfway through sharing the story of the Pharisee and tax collector from Luke 18, she stopped me and said, “Wait wait wait wait.” She ran to pull my other co-worker over and said, “You have to hear this. This is good.” So I started the story again and shared the whole story with them.
Bring Jesus into Focus
After the story we started to have a conversation about Jesus and what our response to God should be. It wasn’t a conversation about the hypocrisy of the church. It was much more fruitful. I don’t have to defend the church. That’s not my job. That’s the Lord’s job.
What I got to do is point them to Jesus in the midst their struggle with a problem. Jesus Stories (the stories that Jesus told, and stories about him from the Bible and our own lives) have the power to transform people and places because they get people ready to receive the truth about the kingdom of God. It’s not an argument. It’s not a debate. It’s a story that leads to transformation.
Jesus is good news. He continues to be good news. And His stories reveal good news to those with whom we share them.