This week it was a joy to participate in a video conference with a godly church consultant. This leader has helped many churches and organizations shape their structure and effectiveness. He’s written a number of thought-provoking books, too. I had an encounter with this man about a year ago, but didn’t mention it when we were all being introduced. As the interaction got underway, I was delighted to hear him say things like, “There’s a meta-narrative that your people need to understand to be effective.” And, “People remember stories when they’ve forgotten everything else.”
It was only as we were wrapping up that I reminded this leader that I had sent him a copy of Truth That Sticks last year. My efforts — and truthfully the entire impact of the Orality Movement — is having an influence whether we get the credit or not.
Last weekend I attended a Bible training workshop for pastors. I appreciated the highly literate approach and believe that the content was solid. When we were all assigned sections of the manuals to teach for 10 to 15 minutes, I smiled when I was given three pages of random Bible verses on angels, Satan, and demons. I went to the conference leader and asked if I could ball them all up into a story. Now, I already knew “The Creation of the Spirit World” story. When he gave me permission, he also moved me to present last. Lights went on when I storied. One pastor (who had read Real Life Discipleship and Story Thru the Bible), excitedly asked, “Can we DO that, too?” It was a very teachable moment.
The point is that success is sometimes defined in tiny wins. It’s not always how an entire church changes over it’s discipleship efforts, people give their hearts to Christ after hearing “Creation to the Cross” or three small groups simultaneously launch new groups because they’re growing so fast. If you are part of the Orality Movement, keep speaking up. Keep modeling. And trust that the Holy Spirit is working to make disciple-makers to magnify God!