By: Nina Edwards

A huge realization I have had in my years of trying to live a 3Story life is that the Gospel comes alive to people in uniquely different ways.  A story that captures my attention and causes me to lean harder on Jesus does little for someone else.  And just when I think my lost friend is not at all interested in the Bible, they stumble on a passage that changes everything.  Our own varying stories cause us to connect with Scripture in differing ways.

Tie points are parts of the two stories that help us literally “tie” the stories together.  We listen well and look for tie points between Their Story and God’s Story.  It means we have to be familiar enough with the Scriptures for the Holy Spirit to remind us of God’s Story as we listen to Their Story.

Another way to think about tie points is to pay careful attention to where a person seems in relation to Christ.  We know God is at work drawing every person to himself.  We have the incredible privilege of shining the light of God’s Story. 

Early in my ministry in YFC, I got to know a 14 year old girl named Shawna.  I invested quite a bit of time getting to know her and unpacking her story.  One day Shawna and I had plans to hang out.  I had learned in listening to Shawna that the absence of her dad was painful.  I decided to point Shawna to Scripture that identified God as our heavenly Father and the opportunity we have to be adopted into his family.  I was convinced this was THE tie point for her, I was sure she would surrender her life to Christ right there in McDonalds.  As I started into the conversation and what I imagined would be an incredible turning of the corner from her pain of having no father to the loving arms of Jesus, Shawna interrupted me.  She had no use for a father; in fact she hated the word.  A father to her was one who used people for their own gain and then left when they could no longer get what they wanted.  I stopped talking and started listening again. 

Sometimes, the tie point we imagine isn’t quite right.

I was sad when I dropped Shawna off that day.  As I shared this story with one of my volunteers, they said, “At least you were ready with a tie point. Keep praying and let the Holy Spirit show you a better way to Shawna’s need.”  A couple months later, I shared with Shawna the story of Zacchaeus when I realized that what she really wanted was for someone to notice her.  The story of the “wee little man” was exactly where Shawna’s heart opened to a God who knows her and pursues her.

We have to listen well and know the Scriptures to tie stories together in a life changing way.  How prepared are you?

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