Stories are kind of like God in that they’re both everywhere. God just also happens to be the guy who invented stories. People have been telling stories since the beginning, but we got the idea from the one who created us.
The church has an opportunity to tell the greatest story ever told—the story of Christ. We can leverage the power of narrative to connect with people. Church leaders just need to keep these three storytelling principles in mind.
1. Establish Characters
Every great story needs a strong character. Characters give your story a focal point. They’re someone for your audience to relate to. Empathy is a key connecting point to any story.
Pick a person or two for each story to follow. Take a second to introduce the character or characters. Who are they? More importantly, how can your audience find common ground with them? Once you’ve introduced the characters, it’s time to tell us about their conflict.
2. Find The Tension
Don’t be afraid to tell some stories of these tense situations within your church. It’s easier to ignore these issues, but stories need conflict. Conflict is storytelling fuel—it moves a story forward. Plain and simple, there is no story without conflict.
By intentionally making the decision to tell some stories of struggle and loss, your church can do more to highlight the uplifting power of the gospel. When you’re audience fully understands the urgency of the tension, they’ll be able to better appreciate the story’s resolution.
3. Give A Resolution
You can’t introduce a conflict without providing some sort of resolution. Find a family that’s struggling. Feature an individual who is grieving. Explain that tension within the story and how it impacts those peoples’ lives.
Then show how your church helped to bring hope and joy back into their lives. These are great opportunities for your church to make a difference in the community. It shows you’re addressing real felt needs of real people.
These could be stories of a lost individual who finally finds God and gets baptized. Or a hurting community that gets support from a local mission trip. Whatever it is, the resolution should always point people back to Christ. Because He’s ultimately what this season is all about. And He’s the resolution to nearly every story.
The Original Storyteller
I care so deeply about storytelling and helping churches tell their stories better. That’s why I wrote a book called The Original Storyteller. It’s a 30-day storytelling guide for church leaders.
Each day features a storytelling principle, an example of a story using that principle, ties that story back to scripture and then give the reader an action step on how to put what they learned to use.
It’s a very practical way to start telling better stories within the church—because the church has the best story of all to tell.