As a Pastor and the Director of Communications at 12Stone Church one of my great joys is finding ways to share God's story with our community and our congregation. Right now we are in the middle of a project where we are turning the lobbies at our four anchor campuses into storytelling environments. Why not let our buildings speak and share God's story with those entering? As we began designing the elements people would encounter, I remembered what I learned at the Storybrand workshop with Donald Miller regarding the elements of a successful story. We boiled it down to 3 main thoughts:
Speak to the hero. The people walking through our doors are the hero. Many walking in are defeated. They need hope. They need to know they can win.
Speak as the guide. Too often churches position themselves as the hero. We are not the hero. We are the guide. People want direction.
Speak with a plan and call to action. Jesus is the plan. Direct them to the full life Jesus offers and call out the best in people. Belief and encouragement moves more people than processes and programs.
As I worked through this project, I thought of the similarities between the church building and Christians as the temple. When people encounter me, what story do they hear? Do I position myself as the hero, constantly talking about myself-my cares, my concerns? Do I look for opportunities to guide people I meet? Am I tempted to position myself as an "expert" instead of a trusted guide who desires to share wisdom and experience for their benefit, not bolster my own ego? Lastly, do I allow people around me to cycle in negative and destructive thoughts and behaviors or do I boldly and lovingly speak up encouraging them to become the person God crated them to be?
We are telling God's story with our lives every day. For many people the only encounter they may have with God is their encounter with us. For many people the difference between hope and hopelessness may be that your belief they are the hero, that you are willing to be their trusted guide and that you will specifically call them to action and cheer them on.
What story are you telling with your life? Who will you encounter today who needs to know they matter to you and they matter to God?
By the way, if you are a church communicator or in marketing in ANY field I highly recommend the StoryBrand Workshop with Donald Miller. Way better than another "conference." https://storybrand.com/workshop/