In hindsight I am not sure why we started doing The Story at all… I had seen and read about story-telling a number of times before and always been intrigued by it. So when we saw it how it was done in Loughborough I remember thinking… “This could actually work.”
As a result when we came home we decided to give it a go. Looking back I am not altogether sure who we thought would come or why? But we got a few people who committed to coming along, at least for a couple of weeks…
16 stories later, we have had about 26 different people (including children) come to at least one evening, a core group of about 15, at least 5 different languages and 4 different nationalities, and an age range from 4 to 51. We have had old friends come visit, spiritual seekers, people who have lost their way, people who are learning to find their way again, people who love Jesus and people who do not, homeless people, recovering addicts, cynics and saints. We have shared food, strong coffee and something of our lives.
We have sung prayers, said prayers and listened to prayers. We have questioned, challenged, rejoiced, got angry, got frustrated, laughed, and on more than one occasion simply sat in awed silence. We have learnt how good and gracious God is, how rebellious we are. We have contemplated the fruit of our ways and the fruit of His ways. We have seen a God who despite the mess we make is simply not finished with us. We have seen hope, we have seen grace, we have seen the good life and we have yearned for it. We have been stunned by our inability to grasp it and left wondering what is God up to in this the greatest story ever told..
It was never meant to last this long but somehow the stories have pulled us in and we have stopped being in a rush to finish the whole story in 8 weeks. Will we continue with this forever? Not sure… probably not. Sunday night will morph and change and take on a new life and a new direction. Possibly once we have finished the whole Bible story we will revert to a twice a year 8 week story set (Spring and Summer possibly)? Maybe get an outside venue this? Maybe an Acts story set or a Luke story set or even more ambitious an Ecclesiastes reading (I’m thinking like a poetry reading) set.
I don’t know where it will end up but I rejoice that I no longer feel like I must have all the answers… as a community together we can determine where it is that God is leading us, as we grow in him and as we engage with our community on mission.
You can read part one here