Using Your Story to Make a Difference

“I’ve got the biggest presentation of my life coming up,” said my friend Regi to our monthly dinner group. He will be the keynote speaker this Thursday at the Real Estate Prayer Breakfast. At least fifteen hundred people will probably attend.

Sharing What and How

Regi is no stranger to being on stage. He is a master communicator. Yet he is challenged by this speaking invitation.

What’s gripping Regi is this: He knows he is representing God on that stage. He is being called to share who he used to be, what happened and who he is now.

“I would like to highjack our agenda at our monthly dinner. I want to present my talk to you and have you guys critique it. It scares me to death to open myself up to you like this. But getting the talk right is more important than my fears,” he said.

60’s Dinner Group

The dinner group is made of five guys in our sixties. We have been getting together for dinner every month for three years. Our purpose is to encourage each other to stay engaged and to overcome the gravitational pull of retirement. It is so easy to unplug because culturally it is the acceptable thing to do.

I knew none of these guys wanted that, so we meet and share. We encourage each other to action.

We had dinner, and then he said, “Well, let’s get this over with!” You could tell Regi was a little nervous.

So we moved to the living room, took our seats and listened to Regi. You could tell this was a talk in progress with great material and personal stories.

Our Best Advice

“Tell your story and leave the takeaways to the audience. God gave you your story, and he will use it to connect to each person. Tell your story and leave the results to God.”

This was easy advice to give Regi because he is an excellent story teller. But he, like all of us, wanted to be instructive.

Be a Witness

Jesus told us in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Witnesses simply explain what they saw first hand. Not what they learned, but what they saw. The conclusions and lessons are the responsibility of the listener and not the speaker.

Storytelling is how we learn. The greatest speakers teach us the greatest lessons by simply sharing their stories. That’s where richness and wisdom are found.

One Last Request

Please say a prayer that my friend Regi succeeds in his mission to get out of the way and that God impacts many through his story.

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4 thoughts on “Using Your Story to Make a Difference

  1. Charlie, thank you for sharing about the power of our stories and overcoming fears to share them. Our willingnesss to be vulnerable and open makes us better leaders and followers.

    Men and women who are willing to step out don’t have to wait to be invited to keynote a prayer breakfast. They can pledge their stories through our ministry at we have people waiting to love them through the process.

  2. Bill Gates gives this same advice. Care about human problems that are significant and then tell stories to help people grasp their urgency.

    It sounds like your dinner group is helping you each to do the same thing. Will pray for Regi. I’m sure he’ll crush it.