Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I have been thinking about story latley and how story captures nuances, details and the ethos of life like nothing else. In particualr I have been thining about how story can help us measure. I dove into anew book by Joe Meyer called Organic Community and in the 4th chapter of the book he talks about moving from bottom line measurements of statistics and numbers to that of story. He is not advocating the elimination of statistical analisys but in order to gain a fuller picture of the activit of a community or organization story adds depth, and dimension to asessing the life of a community. He says stories are the measure of the journey and community and they naturally emerge from life. "Stores share and shape, inform and instruct, motivate and memorialize." I want to capture and tell more stories of the work of God among us!

On Sunday night we had five people tell their stories of how they discipline themseleves to remain in the vine (the theme of worship that night). It was great because people narrated differnt practices that have been purposeful and meaningful to staying connected with Jesus. It was descriptive of their journies with Christ but as people listen I am sure they were thinking about their own story. the power of story

Last night I was then having a beer with my firend Carl who is moving soon to Atlanta and as we were discussing story and he asked, " where and how can we record and tell the stories of the journey Open Door or our lives?" I then began to think about that. We have some journals that are always out at our worship gathering that have some sense of the journey that people go through and we tell stories often in worship. But that is not enough. We need spaces and places for people to tell their stories. For it is in the telling of story that the tradition of a people can be kept alive (Richard Jenson).

Recently we have been continuing to wrestle with how to stay committed to intergenrational worship and honor family in what we do together. My same friend Carl sent me a story about his expreince with his kids in worship. Here is what he said:

"One of the thing that has so endeared us to the Open Door is the intergenerational aspect. This has a profound effect on both parents and children. Evy is excited to go to church. And to be completely honest, there are some Sundays when its Evy who inspires us to put our work away and come to church. I think this is wonderful. Church has truly become a familial experience rather than something the kids feel “we drag them to”."

Great story ehy?


Chris said...

Great post. I'm preaching up at Northmont tomorrow morning and "story" is actually one of the things I'm going to talk about. For an example, I'm sharing the story of a man whom I heard speak at a Young Life camp ten years ago. He grew up in a fairly rough neighborhood in New York City, born to a teenage mom, raised by his grandmother. As an adult, he became a police officer and was overwhelmed by the violence and drug problems he witnessed. One night he had a conversion experience while watching an evangelist on late-night tv. Since then he's dedicated his life to youth ministry.

The point is that even though I listened to him speak for hours over the course of that week of camp, the only thing I remember ten years later is his own story.

Sarah Louise said...

Story is powerful. Have you read the Call of Stories? I can't remember the author...

Luke Bray said...

Very good post. I sometimes miss the power of stories.

Your church the Open Door is intriguing to me. I have grown up in a SBC background and am just getting my feet wet in the area of the emerging church.

I'm not sure if you would hold to that label, but that is the only way in which I have to describe it.

Anyway. Fresh thoughts.

Beloved Spear said...

Aye. Nothing works better than the Master's Method.

Glad to find another pastor with an appreciation for the blessings of hops and barley...

tribalchurch said...

When people join our church, we sit in a circle and talk about our spiritual journeys. Each person takes a turn, and it's a beautiful time. These sacred stories unfold in wonderful ways.

You're right. Stories can truly form a faith community.