The Power of Stories

“Daddy, tell us another story please!”

The kids were gathered together on the bed waiting for their favourite part of the bedtime ritual.  Every night at bed time their dad would tell a story from his childhood.  The kids could pick whatever age they wanted, and he would recount a memory from that time in his history.

They most loved hearing stories about their dad’s exciting adolescence.  He was quite a character and got up to some interesting adventures in his teen years.  They “oo’d” and “aw’d” and laughed a lot.  It was a delightful bonding ritual that built great relationship.

Their dad wasn’t really intentional about what stories he told.  He simply told stories that were exciting, involving subject matter he was passionate about.  He told lots of stories about teenage adventures, and many of them just happened to involve Volkswagens.

Yes, he loved his beetles.  He bought and sold a number of bugs when he was a teenager.  He was passionate about his Volkswagens.  And, his passion for VWs has persisted to this day – over 30 years later.  So much so, that he took his family to a Volkswagen plant and museum in Germany.

Now that his children are in their late teens and early 20s, he’s noticed something: they all drive Volkswagens.  And often their significant others drive VWs as well.  But not only that, a number of them work for Volkswagen.  All of his children are directly connected with Volkswagen.

How did this happen?

Well, this is a great example of the power of story.

Story is the stickiness of truth.  Story engages the hearts of people and connects them to the content of our message.

For whatever reason, the stories of his adventures with Volkswagens made a significant impression with my friend’s children.  They caught his passion.  And we must realize, more is caught than taught.

Recently the Lord brought this lesson about the power of story to my friend – in an uncomfortable fashion…

The Lord reminded my friend about this special time in the lives of his children.  He fondly remembered all the life they shared at bedtime as he shared stories that were meaningful to him.  He loved those years.

As he was reminiscing he began to piece together the fact that all his kids were now, seemingly, as passionate about VWs as he was.  Wow, what a coincidence.  It’s amazing that his kids all love VWs.

Or is it?

Our kids tend to catch what we’re passionate about.  And, when we communicate repeatedly with the power of stories the content of our message lands in fertile soil – and produces fruit.

As my friend was recalling all of this, the Lord asked him a simple question:

“Why didn’t you talk about me?”

As the depth of this penetrated my friend’s heart, he realized that he had chosen to share stories about Volkswagen’s instead of Jesus.  Not that there’s anything wrong with having a passion for cars, but when it supersedes our passion for Jesus we end up in trouble.  He was a Jesus follower during all those years – even in his teen years – but he just didn’t choose to share those stories.

He knows that he’s a great story teller.  He also realizes he needs to tell stories about his journey with Jesus.  With a certain degree of regret he has realized the power of stories to communicate our passion.

So how about you?  What kind of stories do you tell?  Do you tell stories of your Jesus journey?  When it comes to our kids, more is caught than taught.  They catch what we’re passionate about.  And when we communicate using the power of stories our content lands with increased fruitfulness.

When we share the stories of our journey with Jesus we impact people.  If we’ve lived something it’s very difficult for anyone to refute it.  Your story is your story.  It’s real, and it’s powerful.

Your stories enable you to share truth in powerful and non-threatening ways.  It’s your testimony.  Let’s share testimonies.  Let’s share our journey with Jesus.

Let’s harness with power of stories and create stickiness for the truth we want to share.

Revelation 12:11

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

John 1:32

Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.’”

John 1:34

“I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

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