It comes as no surprise that healthy churches are usually churches that are full of stories. Stories of what God has done in the past. Stories of what God is doing in the present. Stories of what God can do in the future. The Bible is mainly story too. The Hebrews knew God through story. And we live in a story culture. Even our news comes in story. We love movies.
There is something about story that touches us and inspires us, far more than facts and ideas.
Sometimes stories are shared naturally, but sometimes we need to be intentional, so here are a few ideas.
1. When people give baptismal testimonies, get them to write out their story so that you can keep it. This will provide a useful store of stories that can be shared again (usually without names attached).
2. At Anniversary (Birthday) time, ask your church family to write out a short story on what God has done in or through their life over the year. You might compile an encouraging collection of stories that can be published in a booklet for the whole church family.
3. Keep a folder in your email program for encouraging emails. Just drag them immediately into this folder. Regularly read through these stories and share them appropriately with your church family and staff.
4. Have new people write a short story of their spiritual journey and put a condensed version in your weekly bulletin with their photo. People will remember them much better if they can associate them with a story.
5. Collect foundational stories – the stories that mark turning points in the church. Retell these stories as often as possible. It will cement the core values and vision of the church more effectively than publishing a list of core values or a vision statement.
6. Whenever you hold an outreach event, get someone to tell their story of coming to Christ. It is likely that the story will connect with some non-church people that a sermon will not reach.
7. Continually feed stories into your prayer meetings and to your intercessors. Stories of God at work increase faith and our pray-ers need to be believing and expectant as they pray.
8. Use personal testimonies or interviews in church services. If people are too shy or nervous, get them on video or read their story for them.
I know that all this sounds like more work, but when the gospel writers wanted to tell us about Jesus, they wrote stories. Maybe YOU need to hear some stories of what God is doing through your ministry and in the church you serve.