Have you heard about the Significant Object project? Rob Walker and Josh Glenn bought cheap trinkets at garage sales and thrift stores. Next, they asked writers to create a fictional story for each object.
They took pictures and posted the item, along with the story, on eBay. What were the results?
- Ordinary birthday candles sold for $11.20
- A sea horse lighter went for $36
- A snow globe from Utah fetched nearly $60.
- And a flannel ball netted $51.00
In reality, these items were only worth a few coins. But when paired with the stories, their value increased dramatically. Let this illustrate the power of stories.
You don’t have to be Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg to understand the power of stories, because their effects are all around us. When it comes to motivating and connecting, stories work far better than facts. That’s why when Jesus really wanted to make a point, he told a parable (a story).You don’t have to be Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg to understand the power of stories, because their effects are all around us. When it comes to motivating and connecting, stories work far better than facts. Click To Tweet
Here are three stories your church should tell over and over.
#1 – The Creation Story
When you meet a new person, it usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes for someone to ask, “So…where are you from?” That’s just one version of a creation story. Whether you’re a few years, a few decades or more than 100 years old, there was a time when your church was born. There was a time when a particular ministry didn’t exist, and something changed that. There’s a story there, and it’s a story worth telling.
Tell the story of how your church began.
Tell a story about why a ministry exists.
Tell the story behind the program.
#2 – A Giving Story
Every week, there are people who give money to your church. They could give to the American Cancer Society, the Girl Scouts, or their IRA, but they decided to give it to your church. They didn’t have the money but they gave it anyway. That’s a powerful story. You could tell it just before you receive the offering in a church service or on your website. Tell it and tell it often.
Giving stories might look like testimonies. They might focus on where the money is going and not just why it is needed. They might connect the act of giving to the larger purpose of God in the world.
#3 – A Volunteer Story
In my years of being a pastor, I never had someone email and say, “Hey Pastor…I'm really bored and I have hours and hours in the week with nothing to do. Do you have some church work I could do to fill the time?” That’s crazy because people are really busy. Despite this fact, they choose to give their time and serve at the church. Why do they do it? There’s a story to tell.
Since they really connect with people and can inspire people to take action, maybe it's worth some time thinking about how to tell better stories.
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.
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