In the evening services of IYC, early in the week we hadn't figured out to leave all the doors open to invite God's Southern California breeze through. So toward the final message, it became a bit stuffy, odoriferous, and to a teenager running on a few hours of sleep the previous night.....conducive to napping.
So our teens had gone through a few "tricks" to keeping the human body awake and aware. Pretending to follow a fly with your eyes briefly. Pinching your leg. Taking notes. They had an entire arsenal ready, as Bishop Roller was set to take the stage that night.
It was pretty amazing. He didn't jump around on stage. He doesn't have a loud booming voice. The microphone wasn't turned up crazy high. There were no flashing lights, pyrotechnics, video illustrations, or puppet shows during his talk. And yet, every teenager in our group, and leaders included, were fixed on his words. Edge of our seats, waiting for him to offer out the next sentence of each paragraph.
He was telling a story. Illustrating how each Bible story is only a pixel of the picture God is painting.
He told a few stories from scripture overall, and gave us the challenge to be telling stories ourselves. When Jesus was asked a question, often instead of giving the factual answer, or anticipated response, he told a story. Stories captivate us. The ask politely for our attention, and draw us in as the plot unfolds. They paint a picture, often capturing the beauty not just of the information being transferred, but of the God who reveals Truth in creative ways...and calls us to be a part of that creativity ourselves.
Bishop Roller challenged us to find stories from scripture that we love, and develop a love to tell them. Starting with an achievable number, like one. :) Then 8, then 52, and on. The more stories we are able to tell from scripture, the more God's creative and beautiful Truth is revealed.
As we left to discuss the evening as a small group, we also realized that each of us is part of the story God is telling. That being able to tell our "story" and find God's active presence within it, should be one of our first goals as we try to decide which stories to work on.
May we be story tellers this week...and beyond..to a world that is ready to listen to a story worth telling....
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