Everybody loves a good story. I think God has wired us to be narrative creatures, which is why I always do my best to incorporate some sort of story into my preaching and teaching. Moreover, the Bible itself is a book that is story-based. While the Scripture isn’t all narrative, every part of it reflects our need to embrace God’s story of salvation through His gift of Jesus Christ.
Not only does everybody love a good story, everybody also has one. You may not think your story is that compelling, but the truth is that it conveys how you have connected with God’s story and the difference that connection has made in your life. Perhaps that is why in spite of the fact that we are always looking for new approaches in worship, we can never get away from the power of “testimonies.” We’re always inspired by hearing other people’s stories.
Earlier in the month, we had the opportunity to hear some of the stories of our newly ordained Deacons. Unfortunately, the weather that Sunday was inclement, and not everyone had the chance to make it out to hear them. For those who did, you’ll remember how inspiring those accounts were, just as they are every year. And for those of you who couldn’t be present, you feel as if you missed out on something significant in the life of our church.
Thanks to the good work of Wayne Splawn, we recorded those Deacon testimonies and have uploaded them to our church’s website, where you can hear them for the first time or revisit them to be inspired again. All six were uplifting ones, and while each was a bit different from the rest, all pointed to ways in which our openness to the Holy Spirit paves the way for us to know God’s favor in a special way. I promise you that you’ll be blessed by taking the time to listen to all six of them. Visit this link to view the testimonies from that Sunday.
As an aside, capturing these stories in this way also enables us to begin fulfilling one of the objectives our newly adopted 2020 Vision Plan, which is “to look for ways to have members share their stories with the church so that we better understand one another’s faith journeys.” My hope is that we will see even more such sharing in the Sundays to come, and not just from our church leadership but from others who have something to share.
So, get ready for the opportunity to share yours. If, as the old hymn puts it, “we’ve a story to share with the nations,” the best place to begin is right here at home so that our stories might encourage others to be inspired as to what God can do in the life of anyone who is open to His leading.
“Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are”
(1 Peter 3:15, Message).