Gospel Shepherding: Storyformed

November 25, 2013


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Storyformed: We take time to listen to others stories and help them find their lives within God’s Story. 

How do I practice the Storyformed Rhythm as a Gospel Shepherd?

  • Before you meet, ask the person to come prepared to share their story
  • Always begin by asking the Spirit to give you ears to hear and a willingness to speak the truth in love
  • Take notes as you listen

Here’s some things to listen for in a person’s story1

1.       Emotional words. (“I’m angry.”  “I’m afraid.”  “I was really hurt.”)

2.       Interpretive words.  (“This shouldn’t happen.”  “I guess I’m getting what I deserve.”  “I wonder if it’s even worth getting up in the morning.”)

3.       Self talk.  (“I am such a failure.”  “I am not smart enough, pretty enough, etc.”  “I have accomplished this and this and this.”  “I always got good grades and performed well in various activities.”  Listen closely for pride and insecurity.)

4.       God talk.  (“I tried hard to obey God.”  “How could God let this happen to me?”  “God’s never done anything for me.”  “God is punishing me.”  Listen closely for denial, blame, and an unwillingness to take responsibility.)

5.       Stated motives.  (“I wanted to get even.  I wanted revenge.”  “I was so ashamed, I decided to never tell my parents.”  “I need people to like me.  I need their approval.”  “I feel so guilty, I could never forgive myself”.)

6.       Patterns of behavior, positive or negative.  Listen closely for power and control.

7.       Destructive or repeated sin. (“I started using drugs when I was 12.”  “I smoked pot every day for 5 or 6 years.”  “I slept with more women than I can count.”  Listen closely for sources of comfort and self-medicating.)

8.       Abuse or neglect.  (“My dad would scream at me if I came home with C’s.”  “I was raped by my step-brother when I was 12.”  “I used to play alone in my room most of the time.”  “The kids at school used to call me fat.”  Listen closely for a victim mentality.)  

9.       Dad and Mom.  (“I’ve never met my dad.” “My mom gave me everything I wanted.”  “My dad said he wished I was never born.”  “I don’t remember my dad hugging me.”  “Nothing was ever good enough for my mom.”)

Specific questions for further clarity (if needed)

  • Tell me about your relationship with your dad
  • How did you feel when that significant event happened?
  • Did that hurtful situation ever get resolved?  How?
  • How old were you when that happened?
  • What did your parents do or say when that happened

General follow up questions

  • Where are you still struggling to believe the gospel?
  • How has this situation helped you see your sin more clearly?
  • Where do you see God at work in this situation?
  • Describe how you view God right now
  • Tell me about your understanding of having God as your Father.  What does that mean to you?
  • How do you know you’re worth anything?  What do you base your sense of self-worth on?
  • What are your biggest fears right now?

Encouragement after their story

  • Thank you for sharing your story.  It is an honor to hear it!
  • Your story is an amazing story about God and his work (most people will not see this, but you should say it anyway).  God is in this!
  • It is very easy to focus on your circumstances at a time like this.  I completely understand.  But God is primarily concerned with your heart in this situation.  He wants to keep pulling your focus up out of the mire of your circumstances on onto him.  Keep watching for your heart responses in the midst of this trial.

At the end, ask them to listen to the 4Gs audio before your next meeting:

Ask them to identify which of the 4Gs they most regularly believe and do not believe.

NOTE: You can download the original file below: