Monday, October 12, 2009

The power of stories

What is it about a story that makes it so valuable? I’m not talking about stories that are works of fiction, I’m talking about the stories of our lives, the great and small events that shape us. Those chance encounters or appointments (divine or man-made) that sometimes go unnoticed but never fail to have an impact somewhere in our lives.

I love to hear these stories shared when we gather together as a faith community. I think they form a vital part of our DNA as God’s people. They can identify us as a missional or a non-missional community. For example, my two recent stories of chance encounters and interesting conversations a couple of weeks ago have been shared with a number of folk and it seems to have created a bit of an atmosphere of missional story telling that showed itself yesterday morning. That’s so exciting.

The sadness is that I don’t have any stories from last week to tell, except possibly the chance encounter with the woman who kicked me in the shoulder while swimming! Not the best start to a conversation!

Anyway, it all got me thinking about the need to introduce all those ideas about high grace, low risk, walking across the room, doable outreach, ordinary attempts, servant evangelism, etc. to the church and to myself again. And very possibly the best way to do it won’t be through a programme but through stories. Programmes help, but I doubt that they achieve very much, a story on the other hand can inspire and challenge in a way that a teaching series simply cannot.

PS. I’m sitting in Costa Coffee hoping that at least by being out of the office something different might happen!

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