by Sean Warren, Pastor of Redemption Communities + Guest Services
This past weekend I found myself sitting with my family outside, stoking a small fire. We had exhausted ourselves on badminton, cornhole, and bocce ball earlier in the afternoon just trying to keep the family laughing and moving. As the day wound down, one of my daughters looked over to me and said,
“Dad, why don’t you share one of your stories from when you were a kid. They always make me laugh.”
In that request, this small moment, I realized the opportunity we all have right now. That opportunity is to share our stories. And you are chalked full of them.
So you might ask, “What stories should I tell?” My response would be, “Any and all of them!” From the ridiculous to the sublime. The real beauty is in the telling of YOUR stories. God put you together mysteriously and wonderfully, and you are a one off. He broke the mold after you. You are an original. And His work in you is unique as well.
So here are 6 types of stories you can tell (and this is not exhaustive by any means).
- Generational Life: Tell a story about your Great Grand Father, or Grand Father. How were their lives different from today’s lives? How did they view God, relationships, work, leisure, etc. And don’t shy away from the negative, lean into it. Show where they were wrong and where they were right.
- The Provision of God: Tell a story about God providing for you or someone you love. These are powerful reminders of how God has our backs in difficult times, proof of His love and care for us. These are our stones of remembrance to share (Joshua 4).
- A Vulnerable Moment: I cannot tell you how many times I have heard an adult say, “I wish my (mom or dad) would have told me they struggled with (fill in the blank).” When we admit our difficult things, trials and low moments, it allows for others to relate and learn. And in God’s economy, nothing is wasted. This can be a challenge with smaller children, but don’t be deceived, they can learn from your vulnerability even now.
- The Mountain Tops: Share those stories of you own human highlight film, and don’t compare with others. We all have moments where life lined up perfectly, and you fully enjoyed that unique event. Those stories are beautiful.
- All Things Laughable: Proverbs 17:22 tells us the benefit of joy and laughter. And you have many funny stories to tell about all sorts of things. Use this moment to tell them, relieve them, even call the person you experienced them with and experience them again with your family. It is good, actually great, to laugh right now.
- Your Gospel Moment: The greatest story you can tell, is the moment God called you to be His. Don’t underestimate how important this story is in shaping those around you. Tell of your life before Jesus transformed you. Talk about the new walk, the difference…how God brought you from death to life!
If we do not tell them, ultimately, they will be forgotten. So be encouraged, share, tell, remember, relive, repeat. And when you are all done, you can ask them…what story do they need to tell.