Thursday, 17 September 2009

Beyond church

In the previous post I expressed frustration at folk who, in a task oriented meeting wanted simply to tell stories rather than get on with the work in hand. I've been trying to process why I felt so impatient with that. Let me say that I love stories. It's one of the great privileges of ministry that we get to hear and to cherish other folk's stories. But, unless we are prepared, as well as valuing stories, to analyse anecdotal evidence, examine the underlying themes and determine what makes them important, what makes events special and memorable, we won't learn from those stories. If our desire is to see the church move forward, to reach into communities appropriately and relevantly, then we have to understand the stories that are important to that community. There is a time and a place for listening to and telling stories. There is also a time to move beyond the stories, taking what is valued with us.
As a church, we proclaim a good news story but it is important that the good news is made real in people's lives and that the story is embraced and lived out and not just repeated without a context.

4 comments:

Nik said...

or, rather, we must remember that the story is organic: it moves and grows and we take it with us. The story flows ever onwards but we sometimes forget that, or are afraid, and so we try to dam it and hold the waters of the story back, instead of letting it wash around and above and through us and others.
Perhaps I overstretch the metaphor though...

liz said...

Thanks, Nik. wish I could have put it so lyrically. :)

Funky Grampa said...

You speak such common sense truth. It's way to rare.

liz said...

Thanks FG, Glad to check out some common sense at your blog too.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed