Adventures in Storytelling

Posted: March 1, 2011 in church, faith
Tags: , , , ,

This coming weekend marks my first foray into official MB Manitoba business.  After being a member of the Saskatchewan conference board for the previous two and a half years, meetings there felt pretty comfortable and I felt like I always had a handle on what was going on.  Going into my first meetings in a new province has a very different feel to it though as I do not have a board position, know few to none of the pastors attending the meetings, and generally feel like the new kid in class.

Beyond just the normal meetings and duties though this weekend, I have been asked to be a part of a panel presentation on sharing the story of Jesus in the context we live and minister in.  I’ll be one of three pastors from our conference that will have five minutes to share a story from this past year in which our faith community uniquely shared the message of Jesus.  I am glad to have the opportunity to share a little about my/our philosophy regarding sharing the message of Jesus with the world we live, and at the same time it is a pretty daunting task to think about sharing on that subject in five minutes or less.

I’m leaning towards sharing about how we handled advent this year and the great opportunities that came as a result of it, but even that will be hard to fit into five minutes.  This past year rather than do the traditional advent schtick (shepherds, magi, the star, and the Christ) we focused on laying out the biblical narrative over the course of four weeks in terms of The Problem, The Promise, The Waiting, and The Answer (creation/sin, covenants, exile, and the work of Christ and the Church).  I have not been a big believer in trusting Sunday morning monologue sermons as a great source of evangelism, but out of that advent season I know of a few people who were personally ministered to and decided to start following Jesus, and also a partnership was formed with a Spanish congregation in town looking for an established church to work with.

All this though I think raises a really important subject of how and what we share as the gospel.  When we share about God what is the content of what we share and what are the most effective means in your context to share it?  Many people would like to say the content of the gospel message should be never changing just the way in which it is presented should be tapered, but history shows us that this is never the case.  Our understandings of the message of Jesus seem to be a constantly growing and unfolding thing and every generation seems to focus to greater and lesser extents on different parts of Jesus message and what it means to be a follower of God.  What is the essential contents of the gospel to you and what are some of the most effective ways you have found to share it in your context?

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