Have you ever gotten lost in a great story? Maybe it was a book you couldn’t put down, a movie that made you feel like you could take on the world, or a story told around a campfire. Stories have the power to make us laugh, comfort us in challenging circumstances, bring us to action, and help us see the world with new eyes.
Whether you know it or not, you are part of a story.
We are all writing some sort of story with our lives. If you are a church leader, you have the privilege of leading a piece of the story that Jesus is building through the Church. Your church’s story can have the power to inspire people who will dream with you, rally behind you, face the challenges of life with you, and fund your mission. It also has the power to influence the people around you to let their lives be a part of that story.
If you are not utilizing the story God has given you, you could be missing out on a vital tool God has given you to engage and connect the people around you. People connect with compelling stories.
A compelling story:
1. LEAVES AN IMPRESSION
Your story should be long enough to take the listener on a journey, but short enough to be memorable. When thinking through your story, you should consider a main theme that becomes clear through the details.
2. EVOKES EMOTION
This is a prime way to have people connect with your vision and let your story be another way to communicate your vision. Here’s a great example of a story from Musicbed that evokes emotion. Take a couple minutes to write down how you feel after you watch this one.
3. SHARES THE WINS AND LOSSES
What fruit has your church seen over the past years? What can you celebrate? When has God shown His faithfulness through difficult seasons and how did He bring you through them? For those who have been a part of your church for a while, this will serve as a chance to become reacquainted with where you have been together. For those who may be newer, it will help them feel part of the ministry without experiencing it firsthand.
4. IS FOR THE AUDIENCE
Think about who this story will impact and what details will be the most important in helping them take hold of your purpose. When writing a story, it can be too easy to tell the story that we want to tell, rather than the one that is most effective. Before sharing your story with your congregation, have someone you trust read it through and tell you what it specifically communicates to them.
5. ANTICIPATES THE FUTURE
The story of how God brought you from your beginning to where you are today is so important, but something is lost if you do not anticipate all that God has in store for your future. Here are some verses to think about in anticipating God’s plans for His children and the Church:
If you haven’t written your story, now is the time! Bring out those old journals, spend some time with the people who have been with you from the beginning and have supported you along the way, and go back to the beginning.
- Where was the first place you ever met?
- What was the dream God placed in your heart when you were called into ministry?
- How much have you grown from your first day?
- How has God used you in the community?
- Who are some specific people in your community who have been affected by your church?
If you have written your story in the past, maybe it’s time to update it.
Unless you are intentional about telling your story, it will be forgotten one day. Schedule a time to share your story with your people. This could be done through a Sunday message, a video produced by your creative team, through social media, or through a letter. The purpose of having a story is to tell it!
Would you like to know how to tell a compelling story? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.