So I was walking in to Starbucks the other day and saw this sign on the door:
And I thought to myself, "They get it. It's not just Africans that love stories, we all do." And then I realized that Starbucks understands people better than a lot of churches. (This blog post has nothing to do with the book The Gospel According to Starbucks, at least not that I'm aware of; I've not read the book.)
Too often we in the West want to make Christianity about mental assent, and so we preach about concepts and conversion means accepting certain propositions. But in reality, Jesus is inviting us into His story. That's not to say that right thinking is irrelevant to us as Christians, but right practice, right action is where our thinking is lived out. He wants our whole life.
The Bible is full of stories. In fact, the Bible tells a story. Did you know that 75% of the Bible is narrative? (Side note; have you ever thought about the number of sermons you hear from the epistles compared to the rest of the Bible?) People love stories and we have the best Story to share. But do we share it? Do we invite people to participate in what God has been doing and what He is going to do?
Telling stories is going to be a big part of our ministry in Uganda. Not just any stories though, the Story of God breaking into the world to redeem and heal it. As we teach these stories to the African pastors and help them discover what God would say to their people through them, we are giving them Scripture in a way that is accessible to the people in their communities and tools to open up those Scriptures to them.
In just over a week I'll have the opportunity to travel to Louisiana to participate in a training that will equip me to share and empower others to share those stories. The training is put on by Simply the Story and is the same method our friends have been using in Uganda already. I'm very excited to have this opportunity and I'm excited to see how God is going to prepare me for ministry in Uganda through it.
As I end this blog post though, I want you to think about the Story we've been given, the Story we're a part of. We're in the midst of the Advent season. We're looking toward Christmas. Christ didn't come to earth just to come, He came with the cross in mind. He lived, died, and rose so we could be reconciled to God. What a Story we have to share! If that Story is not a gift, I don't know what is. How could we not share it?
Who can you share this Story with this Christmas season?