September 23, 2013

The Power of Story in Making Disciples

I'd like to introduce you to Melissa Deming and a resource she's written, an ebook entitled Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story, which takes readers through the redemptive story of the Bible. Melissa is also the creator of Hive Resources--a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, devotional articles, book reviews, and more. Here's why Melissa wrote this resource and why I think you might find it helpful in your work with women in whatever context you're in:

My friend was throwing some hard questions at me that I didn't know how to answer.

And my inability to form a coherent and suitable answer for her was only exacerbated by my poor language skills. I had only recently moved to Southeast Asia, and I was still learning how to maneuver the city without getting lost and buy veggies from the street vendor outside my apartment; I had no hope of explaining the principles of substitutionary atonement!

So, when I returned stateside for a short vacation, I made a beeline for a Christian bookstore. What was I looking for? A Bible study that summarized the entirety of the Scriptures from beginning to end. With no previous exposure to the gospel or the God of the Bible, I knew my friend would never come to faith if I just jumped into the story of the Scriptures in the middle. I needed to lay some groundwork before introducing her to Christ.

Our worldviews differed, and I quickly discovered so should my mission approach. You can imagine my disappointment when no such study could be found. I needed more than facts about the Bible; I needed to share the story of Scriptures and their relevance for my friend's life today.
It was out of my time spent with my friends in Southeast Asia that Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story was born--a 10 week journey through the Bible.

Today, the nations are streaming into the borders of the United States, making the method of sharing the story of Scripture even more reticent. After returning from overseas life, my husband and I embarked on another adventure, transplanting our family from the Bible-belt to a multi-ethnic city center. We quickly found ourselves attached to the core group of a church plant in the North American Mission Board (SBC) in a pioneer area teaming with unreached people groups. It is within the church planting context that we've seen entire families transformed by the story of the Bible.

At a community outreach event prior to our church launch, I struck up a conversation with an Asian woman and her son. She was very curious about the jade bracelet I was wearing.

It had a story, and I shared the story with her.

During my time in Southeast Asia, I spotted the bracelet in a little shop and was forced to purchase it after being unable to take it off when I tried it on! (Much to the shop owner's pleasure!) The woman got a good laugh out of the story but was even more interested about the exact country in which I bought it.

And in what I can only describe as a divine appointment, we discovered that not only had we lived in the same country in Southeast Asia, but also in the neighborhood of the very same city. Our life stories were instantly intertwined, and I was able to share how God's story for the world is intertwined in her life story as well.

Because of one story--the story of the good King of the Bible--that woman's life was forever changed. This woman had never heard there was a King and that he desperately sought to call her his own. But now, she's able to boldly and joyfully claim the title Daughter of the King, and her husband is now one of the King's sons.

Both individually and corporately, we cannot underestimate the power of a story in discipling the lost toward Christ. It is only when we discover that our stories align with God's story for the world that we can find our purpose and pleasure in life. The story of the Scriptures translates across cultures and countries; it is a story that unlocks the reality in which we now live, giving us hope for the future.

About the Book:
Daughters of the King is a 10-lesson Bible study in ebook format for a small group or an individual struggling to find themselves on the pages of God's Word. This study will transform how you view your purpose and personal identity as a chosen and cherished Daughter of the King by helping you connect the dots between your story and God's story for the world.

Daughters of the King is the representation of the author's time overseas, engaging a different worldview and trying to strip the Bible down to its most basic storyline. Daughters of the King offers the reader a systematic look at how the Bible is arranged around the topic of God's kingdom and how God's kingdom applies to women today. Through September 30, you can use the code FALL13 to receive 30% off your order of the PDF version. The book is also available for Kindle on Amazon.