Re-thinking church

When people walk into our church I want them to hear a story… the story of their lives. The story of their life as it is and as it can be.

We will use every element possible to help create that story.

We will use music that they are familiar with to help them understand their story.

We will use scenarios and images that they are familiar with to help them recognize their story.

We will do whatever it takes, without violating Scripture, to tell them their story in a way that they “get it.”

We will begin with the familiar (the story of their life) and move to the unfamiliar… a life that has been saved and reoriented by Christ!

Beginning with the familiar is not holy. It may be ugly. It may be offensive to some. It will be an encounter filled with painful awareness for many, but it will not stop there. We will move to the unfamiliar: hope, meaning, forgiveness, grace, love, adventure, etc – all of the “things” found in Christ!

We will tell 52 stories a year. Every Sunday will be the story of someone’s life beginning with where they are and ending with where they can be through faith in and obedience to Christ!

I can’t wait to get started!

For some additional reading… check out this post that Darlene wrote in which she talks about how people who are unfamiliar with the church might see what we do as being weird (Read it here).

5 thoughts on “Re-thinking church

  1. “We will do whatever it takes, without violating Scripture, to tell them their story in a way that they “get it.”

    I worry sometimes that contemporary Church leaders focus too strongly on who will or wont get it, and how we present it to them, and forget the ability of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to convict

    Simply presented, the Word is strong enough to convict.

    Maybe were saying the same thing, just differently

    “but it will not stop there. We will move to the unfamiliar: hope, meaning, forgiveness, grace, love, adventure, etc – all of the “things” found in Christ!”

    Amen

    Kind blessings

    sg

  2. Paul,
    We went with our son’s new roommate to a large church service, and one of the comments he made to me was that he tuned out a lot because he didn’t know anybody, nor did he get the inside jokes the pastors were referring to.

    I love getting the perspectives of a “newbie” who sees us with a different set of eyes.

    We had 54 at Christmas eve service, some were brand new. One visitor has been de-churched for 15 years. I am very interested in his perspective. I pray he heard part of his “story” that night.

  3. Paul,
    Just an update on a resource that we are using here in Wyoming. It is a play produced by Lillenas, written by Don Bosley, called Baggage Claim. (http://www.lillenas.com) It is 1.5 hours long. But it journeys alongside a dysfunctional family that all have secret baggage that Jake (the Jesus character) wants desperately to help them with. “After all” Jake states plainly, “that is the reason why I’ve come (to pay your bill). That and to help you with your baggage.”

    We just got done with our first showing of the play last night and it was great. I had good conversations about the significance of the parable shown on stage. Many people didn’t get it at first and were drawn into “story” only to find themselves “hooked”/convicted as the story unfolded.

    The drama has a large cast, but it is very good! Thanks for allowing others to see that this relationship with Christ makes all the difference to their plotline!

  4. Sometimes when people hear the stories of others and how they have struggled, they do not feel so all alone. Sometimes we feel like we have committed the worst sin in the world until we hear a story about a person who has either done something the same or something worse and how God has changed their lives and used them.. This I feel, can help us to see how God can change our lives, it could help us realize no sin is any greater then then the other –a sin is a sin and God loves us all just as we are and he will heal us if we allow..I love your idea of a new and diffrent story each weekend it will help people to feel they are not alone in their struggles and problems. God Bless you…

  5. MAC –
    >>Sometimes when people hear the stories of others and how they have struggled, they do not feel so all alone. Sometimes we feel like we have committed the worst sin in the world until we hear a story about a person who has either done something the same or something worse and how God has changed their lives and used them.. <<

    Yes. This is the greatest blessing of the OT narrative. NORMAL people used by a SUPERNATURAL God to do EXTRAORDINARY stuff. And the narrative records lumps. bumps, and warts! David’s life is on the fast track to glory when he gets derailed by 2 Samuel 11. Then its wreckage and carnage all over the place. Many of the cries of Psalms come out of these dark days for the man after God’s heart. God still used him after he blew it.

    Check out the accounts of story in Hebrews 11. Guess who shows up there? Samson!! And our flannelgraph depictions of him are usually less than stellar. God uses guys (and gals) who blow it!

    Mike (a guy who has blown it lots of times)

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