What’s your story?
At my church we have times where we get to share Wows with the entire body. It is exciting to hear what the Lord is doing in people’s lives. When we boil it down what we are doing is telling stories of God’s wonder and grace in our lives.
So, what’s your story?
If you read Paul’s letters, you can see his story told in so many different ways. One of my favorites is from Philippians.
Paul was circumcised on the eighth day. He was of Israel. A member of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. A Pharisee. A persecutor of the church. Blameless according to the Law.
He counted those things loss for the sake of Christ. He valued Christ so much that he considered all things loss. He considered everything else rubbish so that he could gain Christ.
Paul was something special in the world of Israel. He was probably headed to a pretty prominent position. He would have been lauded and carried plenty of power.
He threw it all away. Why?
Because He saw Christ on the Damascus Road and his life was never the same. He measured everything else by that vision of Christ and he found it all lacking. He pursued Christ above all.
That’s Paul’s story.
How about your story? Or mine? Do we really count others things rubbish compared to Christ? Or do we wallow in the trash heap and the waste pile? I know what the answer is in my life.
What are we going to do about it? Are we going to simply continue to pursue earthly treasure in jars of clay? Or are we going to pursue what moth and rust can’t touch?
What’s your story?
I have a friend named Chris. Recently he sent me a tweet telling me he realized that he goes to church with someone I work with.
That event made me pause, though, because of the power of those shared experiences. Memories flooded my mind. Good and bad times swirled before my eyes. Waves of nostalgia cascaded over me.
The wonderful thing, like I said, is that we survived those stories. Even though we are linked forever by the stories we were writing during those years, we are part of greater stories now.
We have both been married for two decades to the loves of our lives.
We both have children that mean the world to us.
We both have jobs of enormous responsibility.
Most important, we are a part of His story, each in our own way.
We claim a common Savior. This is a better story that has more power than any other that connects us.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.— Seth Godin from Linchpin
I have been on a kick over the past few weeks reading Seth Godin. I have read Purple Cow. I have read Tribes. Now, as I write this, I am reading Linchpin. I’m not going into a description of these books. However, the quote above stuck out to me as I read it. And it made me wonder. It made me wonder about how this applies to church.
For a lot of us, art in church stops when we get out of kiddie church. We stop coloring, drawing pictures and playing with PlayDough. But if we look at art differently, then it never truly disappeared.
We who are a part of the Church have been changed. If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. What changed them? What changed us? Of course, it is Christ who changed us. But how did He do it?
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
Someone told us the story. Yes, there is doctrine in it. Yes, there is theology behind it. Yes, there are facts in it. But at the heart of it, there is a story. An old, old Story. And what is a story? At its best its art. And this is the best Story of all, isn’t it?
This is a story that comes directly from the throne of God and changes the recipient.
So, how does that quote apply to church?
We have received the greatest art possible from God. We have received the Story.
Are we letting that Art, that Story change how we do church?
Are we simply trying to teach some facts in Sunday School or bible study today? Or are we creating art that will change our lives? Are we telling the Story?
Are simply singing songs that will entertain us for a few minutes? Or are we creating art? Are we telling the Story?
How about the sermon? Are we sitting there passively waiting for lunch? Or are we creating art with the pastor? Are we participating in the Story?
How about anything else we do in church? Are we telling the Story?
What difference would this make in our churches if the Story was driving what we did? What if we approached everything we did in church as being great, exceptional and true Art?
What about the other six days of the week? Is the Story driving what we do?
How about you? Are you making church Art? Do you love to tell the Story? In everything you do?
What a week in Deucology land. Let’s get right to it.
The new look seemed to go over well. Several people commented that they liked. I have also continued to explore the idea of going to a self-hosted blog. I learned a great deal about it. My friend, Jon, did this recently and has offered to share his experience with me. (Jon, I’ve got to give you a call and talk about that.)
Here is a rundown of this week’s posts:
I Never Had “A” Salvation Experience started the week out on Sunday. I conveyed how salvation is not just an experience in the past, but something that is present in my life every day.
First Church Year #2 on Monday continues our adventure of settling in at our new church.
January ended on Tuesday with me sharing Random Thoughts At The End Of January.
On Wednesday, I asked the question What’s Your Story? I got some great comments from several of you.
I shared one of my favorite posts on Thursday, Wave Your Hands In The Air.
I ended the work week yesterday with My Quitter Experience.
Let me just say a word about yesterday. Friday was one of those rare days that hasn’t happened very often. Does the way I just said that make it double rare? My college friends, Tony and Gretchen, kicked off the day by discovering my blog on Facebook. They read several posts and got my traffic off to a great start. Then it got really crazy.
I tweeted to Jon Acuff about the post, since his Quitter book inspired it. Later, I commented on his blog and he replied. He even asked if he could write a post about my experience, and, of course, I said yes. That little exchange seemed to have driven about 25% of my blog traffic yesterday. So, in a very public way, I want to thank Jon Acuff. I met Jon once and he is someone who is truly interested in helping others achieve their dreams.
Another thing that happened this week was that there were more comments than any other weeks. I passed 1,000 total comments. That is something that truly makes this experience special. I appreciate everyone who takes a few minutes to engage in the conversation.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
How was your week? If you blog, how were things your way?