In Bobbie Cole’s Disciples Indeed Workbook, she shares how “writing an episode from your walk with God will remind you of what He has done for you … strengthen your faith … and focus your attention on what He is doing in your life.”
The workbook teaches readers how to do so in “a lively and coherent way,” a way that will “draw you closer to others,” who will be “inspired, comforted, and encouraged by your words.” What a great goal for believers!
There are tips for choosing the specific incident you want to focus on, how to draft, prune, hone, and share it. It isn’t about condensing your life story into five minutes, just telling a single vignette.
To walk you through each step, each module, Bobbie uses her own “5-Minute Testimony” and other examples as well, including an incident from the Apostle Paul’s life.
Bobbie’s conviction is that personal stories “cannot be challenged, are entertaining [when well-crafted], and have the power to stir emotions in our listeners.”
Bobbie encourages you to make your stories “authentic, engaging, coherent, lean, and relevant.” Again, through examples, the author shows you what that looks like.
If you’ve read much of my writing at all, you will realize just how important openness, honesty, and authenticity are to me. Though the author states that we don’t have to share a difficult or challenging circumstance from our lives, she does remind us that when we do, we can build a bond with our listeners/readers. They can see how God came through for us in our tough time and draw the conclusion that maybe He will do the same for them.
This resource, when used with the others the author has penned or on its own, will help you recognize what God has done in your life and zero in on one specific story you can share with others, whether how He met you in your dark time or just how He reached down and made Himself known in an everyday situation.
Teaching others how to tell their story is central to Bobbie’s ministry. She publishes the “Encounters with Jesus Blog” on the Testimony Train site, where you can read stories by people from all around the world. She also offers workshops on the topic of writing and sharing your story.
It’s hard to take off my editing hat when I’m reading a book to review—and there are a few things I would change in the Disciples Indeed Workbook. Even so, if you are looking for encouragement, motivation, and some solid guidelines on writing your story and sharing your faith organically, this would be a very helpful tool. (I think I will reread the workbook myself and as I do, I intend to follow the steps and polish one of the stories from my life.)