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Have trouble sharing your testimony? Ask Tom how he overcame his fearcomment (0)

September 10, 2009

By Grace Thornton

Tom McNeal said he’s always had a hard time working his spiritual life into his conversations.

“I can talk to a brick wall about just about everything, but it’s always been difficult to turn the discussion to spiritual topics,” McNeal said.

So one day while he was driving to Georgia, McNeal was praying a lot about what he could do to do a better job of sharing the gospel story with the world.

And he says God answered loud and clear.

“He said, ‘Ask me my story.’ People connecting with people and sharing their personal stories of their relationship with Christ — that’s what it’s about,” said McNeal, a member of NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville, in Birmingham Baptist Association. “Paul so many times shared his own story before he presented the gospel message, and that’s the same thing that we can do.”

And if having that phrase — “Ask Me My Story” — printed on T-shirts opens a door to share those stories, then McNeal is more than happy to be the vessel or, in this case, the printer.

“Our hope is not to sell shirts,” he said of the project, which has gotten the support and help of his church and Sunday School class, which includes a graphic designer, accountant and Web site builder who have helped with the T-shirts.

“The hope is that people will use it as a tool to get them started and that eventually they’ll get so comfortable telling their story to others that they won’t need the shirt anymore. We don’t want to sell 500,000 shirts and it become a fad. I would rather a few buy it who really mean it and want to tell their story.”

McNeal plans to send out cards with each shirt that can be put on a table or desk to remind people to be intentional, prepare their testimony to be ready to share and look for opportunities throughout the day.

Even though the shirts have yet to hit the streets, the promotion for them has already opened up conversations with nonbelievers through e-mail and on Facebook (“Ask Me My Story” has a fan page).

“Tom is a great guy, he loves the Lord and God gave him a great idea to share his story with others,” said Stephen Hall, minister to high school students at NorthPark Baptist. “We’ve gotten him to share his concept and testimony with our students, and we will hopefully partner with him in a big way in the coming days.”

McNeal has a bold challenge and it’s “not about a T-shirt but about being proactive in sharing the gospel,” Hall said.

“It’s exciting to see someone in the church get an idea and take it and run with it — there’s such unity and diversity in the body of Christ,” he said.

And it’s that unity and diversity that play into each “Ask Me My Story” T-shirt, McNeal said.

“The shirt is unique to each person who wears it, because each story is unique. But all the stories end alike — with the gospel message,” he said.

All of the profits from the sale of the T-shirts go to the International Mission Board, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Faith Comes by Hearing.

For more information, visit askmemystory.org or contact McNeal at tom@askmemystory.org or 205-441-6222.

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