The structure of stories…
"I had to go pick up my drunk husband at two this morning."
"I regret looking at pornography as a young boy. It's done so much damage to my marriage."
"Right now, I don't like my children."
"From that moment on, I had a difficult time respecting what my dad said."
"I feel betrayed by my parents. They should have protected me from my uncle."
The stories of those in my small group are not Sunday school perfect. They are often painful and messy because our lives are broken and cracked. When we choose to tell our stories, God is able to shine His light through those cracks. God's strength is always shown perfect in our weakness.
Sharing stories is vital to spiritual growth. Imagine the gospel without stories or a Savior without tangible solutions. Jesus' three-year earthly ministry revolves around stories. Matthew tells the story of the Centurion whose servant lies dying but is saved by a powerful faith. Mark sheds light on healing by telling the story of the paralytic and his friends who brought him to Jesus. Luke encourages grace by sharing Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. John recounts the story of Jesus walking on water to urge others to trust. Stories matter. They build our faith and strengthen our resolve.
Stories touch the heart, turning over the soil that cradles the seeds of God's truth. Telling stories involves:
Self-revelation—As the leader, be a model by telling your story. Your vulnerability and the power of your story will break down walls behind which those in your small group may hide. Soon those in your group will begin to share pieces of their lives, admitting their weaknesses and a caring, committed Christ will reveal himself.
Trust—Make sure your small group has ...