Telling Stories of Hope
Leading a Bible Conversation with a “Yellow-Light” Person
Adapted from materials by Jeff Sundell
With anyone who isn’t ready to follow Jesus, but is open to further spiritual conversation, adapt the following process as appropriate:
- PREPARATION (select a story prayerfully from the list below):
- Read the story aloud.
- Try retelling it in your own words without looking at the story.
- Repeat 2–3 times as necessary to get most of the details without having it perfect.
- Seek a context most comfortable to the other person, preferable in their home, with their friends or family.
- Tell the story.
- Ask one or more to retell what they recall.
If someone appears comfortable reading, invite them to read the story aloud.
(From their own Bible if available, or from yours. If one one else appears comfortable reading aloud, read the story to them.)
Ask what they noticed that you or they missed in telling the story.
(Your own example of imperfection in telling the story will give them greater confidence for telling the story to others.)
- Discuss these questions:
- What do we learn about God/Jesus?
- What do we learn about people?
- Do we see in this story a Sin to avoid?
- Do we see in this story a Promise to claim?
- Do we see in this story an Example to follow?
- Do we see in this story a Command to obey?
- Who do you most identify with in the story, and why?
- What keeps you from following Jesus today?
- Ask them to try telling the story again.
- Gently invite them to set goals by asking them:
- What from this story is Jesus asking you to obey?
- Who do you know that needs to hear this story?
- Ask how they would like you to pray for them.
- Pray aloud for them, and for those they mentioned needing to hear this story.
Seven Stories of Hope (adapted from George Patterson):
- Hope for the Rejected: The Woman Weeping at Jesus’ Feet — Luke 7:36–50
- Hope for the Non-Religious: Pharisee & Tax Collector — Luke 18:9–17
- Hope Changes Things: Zacchaeus — Luke 18:18–30
- Hope Forgives: Unforgiving Servant — Matthew 18:21–35
- Hope Through Death: Thieves on the Cross — Luke 22:66–23:25
- Hope Rose from the Dead: Resurrection — Luke 24:1–20
- Hope is Waiting for You: Prodigal Son — Luke 15:11–32