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2020 #MyEasterStory Vision
COVID-19 is presenting some unique challenges for us, as a church, as it is for our entire community and country. Many are all struggling with anxiety, loss of jobs, reduced income, loss of control, feelings of anger, fear of death, and many other unanswered questions about an unknown future. While those are all real struggles, and we experience these same struggles and acknowledge the pain of dealing with a world of uncertainty, we believe this challenge is an opportunity for us to learn to tell a different and better story–the Easter story of Jesus defeating death to bring new life!
So starting this Sunday, April 5th, we’re kicking off our #MyEasterStory Campaign by turning our FCCers into social media titans by posting a real simple 45-60 seconds #MyEasterStory video sometime during our Sunday’s services. Then, throughout the week, we hope to create a groundswell of online momentum to invite people to join one of our 4 online Easter services that will be built around this theme of using our stories to tell the Easter Story of new life in Jesus! We will be making a clear gospel invitation to those listening to say yes to Jesus as Savior and Lord, so that they can soon tell their own Easter Story of Resurrection to new life!
See “Sample Testimony Script & Videos” below for examples.
Please help us by making your own 45-60 sec #MyEasterStory video!
How to Make Your #MyEasterStory Video
Your 45-60 seconds video is intended to parallel the Easter story of new life in Jesus, in very simple terms. The idea is not to give detail about your story, but to get as many people hearing the basics of how Jesus resurrected you, as a way to invite them to participate with us on Easter Sunday!
- Start your script with, “My name is FirstNameOnly and this is My Easter Story.”
- Then work through the following 4 elements that describe the story of the Bible and Easter, raising us from death to life! Use at least one sentence for each.
- Creation – God made you and put you in this world, somewhere. Tell us about that somewhere.
- Type of Questions Answered – What was your childhood and/or pre-church context like? What was your pre-Jesus life like? What did you think about God then? (Don’t answer them all! You don’t have time. These are just shown as the types of questions this section answers. Pick one that resonates with you and go with it. Same with the following 3 sections. We tracking?)
- Example Sentence Starters – “Growing up, I…”, “In my household, God was…”, “My grandma took me to church but…”
- Fall – You messed up, we preaching?! Give us a small window into why you need a Savior.
- Type of Questions Answered – Why did you need Christ and His grace? What have you tried that did not work nor satisfy? How did you think, act, or behave then? What did your selfish life look like? What personal crisis made you aware you are a sinner? What were the sins and struggles that previously condemned you before God?
- Example Sentence Starters – “I thought making lots of money and climbing the corporate ladder would…”, “My life was all about pleasing people…”, “My addictions were…”, “I determined that the only way to happiness was sexual fulfillment…”
- Pro Tip – Using some verbiage here to speak of your pre-Jesus deadness, being enslaved to sin, living in darkness, etc., to describe your pre-Jesus deadness helps highlight the next two sections, where your Easter Story comes alive! You’re welcome. ;o)
- Redemption – But your story took a turn when you repented and trusted in Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice to bring you to new life! Tell us about… all that… in like, a sentence or two, tops.
- Type of Questions Answered – What was it about Jesus that drew you to Him? What about God, Jesus, the cross, etc., made the difference and that awakened you to new life? How did God finally get through to you? Was there a moment where God’s Spirit broke through and your heart became soft?
- Example Sentence Starters – “For the first time I understood that I couldn’t save myself from my…”, “When I realized that God had… I finally felt a sense of…”, “I began to see that the cross was…”, “The goodness of God became clear because…”, “God’s grace finally made sense when…”
- Pro Tips – (1) Starting this section with something like, “But Jesus…” or “But God…” or “But someone I love showed me the love of Jesus when…” draws out the contrast between Fall and Redemption. (2) Also, this section (or the next) might be a good place to use a (super brief!) Bible verse to describe the change/transition.
- New Creation – Jesus is taking you, and creation, to a someday filled with perfect and sinless relationship with God and the rest of creation. Tell us about the hope of heaven you have because of your changed life!
- Type of Questions Answered – How has new life in Christ changed the way you think about yourself, interact with the world, or behave around others? How are you different now than before? How do you experience more joy, peace, and contentment now? How do you serve those around you?
- Example Sentence Starters – “I now know that I don’t have to please people to have a sense of purpose in my life…”, “I have an inner joy in Jesus that comes from…”, “I look forward to the day when…”, “I live with a hope that sees beyond the everyday fears and struggles I experience because I know…”
- Pro Tip – We are writing and videoing these Easter stories during a time of upheaval and fear because of COVID-19. Striking a hopeful chord, like the last example sentence immediately above, would give it some extra punch for those currently experiencing anxieties, fears, and confusion. Now, go be a Pro.
- End your script with this declaration of faith, “This is my Easter story and Jesus is my Risen Savior!”
- A script between 45-60 seconds will be between 70-140 words for most people, though this will vary a lot from person to person. (Paste your text into the box at www.textconverter.io for some idea of how many words and time it will take. Or for detail-oriented tweakers, use www.wordcounter.net, which is a legit helpful site to know. You’re welcome, nerds.)
- Use at least one sentence for each of the 4 elements.
- All the examples above and below (see “Sample Testimony”) are primarily meant as helps, to trigger your thinking, and shouldn’t be outright copied since, well, it’d be kinda weird to hear half the videos use the same exact words for half the videos.
- Make Jesus the hero of your Easter story, not you, and not another person, even if it’s your amazing grandma. However, make sure to keep your story your story, and not your spouse’s, kids’, and family’s story. Let them tell their own version.
- Use a brief quote, section, or phrase from Scripture, if possible.
- Ephesians 2:4-5 – 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 – 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- John 3:3 – Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
- Revelation 21:5 – And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
- Your own?
- Leave out specifics and detail about heavy issues. Short, big-picture descriptions of past sins, hurts, and struggles are best: “I grew up in an abusive home…”, “I was an alcoholic…”, “After I lost my job I…”, “I had struggled with…” but please no inappropriate TMI moments. Your future listeners thank you.
- Leave out specific mention of previous Christian denominations. We do not want to create the impression that ‘they didn’t quite cut it’ and ‘now you’ve seen the light.’ This is about the pre-Christ you and the post-Christ you, not about criticizing other forms of church or Christianity. However, feel free to mention if you were in a previous non-Christian religion or in a cult or legalistic sect (Mormon, Buddhist, Jehovah’s Witness, “Legalism”, etc.)
- Leave out your infant christening or sprinkling. There is a big difference between your christening and the baptism that is taking place now. If you talk about it, some people will get confused about the two and you will not have the time to make this clear.
- Working through writing a script is work, but it’s worth it. Fight through the process because, in so doing, you will learn more about yourself, realize more fully what God’s done for you in Jesus to give you an Easter story, and have better tools for communicating your story of hope to others!
- Read through your script at least a few times first.
- Use your smartphone, (which, yes, does have a video camera on it), preferably in Landscape/Horizontal format, not Portrait/Vertical! If you need help, ask someone you know who knows what to do. Seriously, you know someone who knows.
- Btw, it doesn’t hurt to smile. :o)
- Do your best to say it while looking at the camera as much as possible. Try not to just look at a written copy of your script.
- After recording, play it back to make sure it’s as you want it.
When To Post – We want as many FCCers as possible to post at the same times, to help us launch strong and create a specific groundswell/movement at specific times. (This helps the computer bots know something’s going down in Greeneville, TN. Some might call this gaming the system. We call it being smart(er than otherwise, hopefully, maybe?))
- For the 1st time – Sun morning, Apr 5, sometime before, between, or right after the worship services. This will help us launch strong!
- For the 2nd time – Mon, Apr 6, at about 8:30a. (You can just use the same exact post. It’s ok. People do it all the time.)
- 3rd time – Wed, Apr 8, at about 5:30p. (Again, same post is cool.)
- 4th time – Fri, Apr 10, at about 8:30a.
- 5th time – Sat, Apr 11, at about 5:30p.
- Last time – Sun, Apr 12, sometime before 8a (You can schedule the post the night before, if needed).
- I mean, if you’re gonna go through the trouble of making a 45-60 sec video testimony, you might as well use it multiple times, right?!
- Help move things along, online, by liking, sharing, and commenting the bejeebers out of, and on, each others’ posts.
How To Post – This applies, for the most part, to Facebook, Insta, and Twitter. (Insta Peeps, you know what to do, #bcinsta.) If you’re on something else, feel to go crazy Snapping and TikToking and Pinning and WhateverElseing.
- In your post, include…
- your video – (We can just see some people after posting: “Duh. Forgot the actual video!”)
- a smidge of blurbage about inviting folks
- “Would love to have you join me this Sun!”
- “Come hear how Jesus can write a new story!”
- “If you need a church family where Jesus is still writing new Easter stories…”
- @fccgreene (or #fccgreene, if @fccgreene doesn’t bring us up as an option, which sometimes happens)
- fcceaster.org – (Don’t worry, all the details re times, links to the online services, etc., will be there. We’ve got ya.)
- Pro Tip: We’re not trying to steal sheep from other churches. If you wanna include verbiage like, “If you need a church family”, as above, or “Have yet to understand how Jesus can write a new story of hope?”, to focus on unbelievers, that’d be great!
- Sample Post Verbiage:
- “Here’s #MyEasterStory. If you need a church family or aren’t sure how Jesus can change your story, join us Sun, Apr 12! See fcceaster.org for more! @fccgreene #fccgreene”
- Pro Tip – Unless you’re really young and being extremely meta, using more than these hashtags might “encourage” social media platforms to downgrade your post’s reach, so it’s better to just stick with the program.
“Hi, my name is FirstNameOnly, and this is My Easter Story. Growing up, I thought sports, casual sex, and drinking alcohol made me cool and gave me purpose. But they just ended up making me miserable and empty and alone. I hated who I had become. But Jesus made me new when a friend took me to church and it was like God was talking straight to me through the Preacher. I began to see my rebellion against God and I realized in my heart that He loved me anyway and died to save me. Romans 5:8 says that But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. I couldn’t believe that Jesus would die for me! It was amazing! He gave me new life that give me hope to carry on even when things are hard and filled with uncertainties. This is my Easter story and Jesus is my Risen Savior!”