A few years back I came across a book by a preacher name Jim Putnam.
Back then — not quite so much.
Several of us read the book and discussed the ideas within at length. The opportunity presented itself to meet with Jim’s father — Bill. Interesting and challenging man.
Later I traveled with a group to Post Falls, Idaho to visit RLM (Real Life Ministries). At first blush the building and the town were a bit under-whleming.
The people and the ministry were a whole different story.
Everything I knew (or thought I knew) about how churches grow and become great was turned upside down.
- Few “Academically” trained ministers.
- The “Sunday Show” was not the main focus.
- There was little emphasis on “Classes and Learning Information”.
- Little effort was made to attract using lights, staging, and rock star staff
They were, however, very interested in story.
My story. Their story.
The story of Jesus.
The entire ministry was grounded in people living life together and sharing the story of Jesus and how His story interacted with theirs.
Yes — they have a building, a worship team, preachers, etc. But they were not the “main thing”. I spent most of the first week and half there telling my story to the guys I came with. I also learned to sit and listen to their story.
I was thinking the other day as I reread Acts — a lot of what is there consists of Paul telling his story.
- I was …. a persecutor of Christians
- I met …. the resurrected Jesus
- I am … totally a different man – a new creation
Eight times in Acts Paul tells that story. Information doesn’t change or transform. Stories transform and change us.
Just like a good movie.
We become involved and the story moves us. It affects our emotions, our thought process.
Story transforms. What stories are you missing that might change your life? Stop rushing to impress and stop to listen. That unbeliever may have a great story. She needs to hear your story. His story……