Have you resolved to be a better preacher in 2014? Keep reading…
What if we stopped preaching?
What if we eliminated outlines, fill in the blanks, and alliterative acrostics based on our assessment of scripture?
What if we simply invited our students into the story of God?
In John’s gospel, Jesus doesn’t enumerate the benefits of following him, he just invites them to “come and see.” It captivates. It echoes. It moves the disciples into the realm of imagining what can be. Transformation doesn’t happen without a captured imagination.
Jesus was a storyteller
In the midst of both receptive and hostile audiences, Jesus snatches abstract questions out of the air and wrestles them onto the desert floor. The parables do more than illuminate the kingdom of God, they create a common experiential language that everyone present, paralyzed or chief priest, can understand. Your stories eliminate the intimidation inherent in encountering scripture.
Stories inherently speak to students’ imagination
Teenagers don’t live into future consequences, but they live into future potentials. Every milestone marker is a reminder that they will have to eventually definitively answer “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Sharing your stories, and those of your congregation invite students into the realm of what-can-be instead of what-already-is. Stories invite them into a potential, grace-filled future.
Stories move beyond adolescent cynicism
Divorce. Depression. Loneliness. Hurt steals hope. One of your primary roles is to proclaim the reality of hope. Telling the stories of transformation, in scripture and your life, gives the love of God legs.
Tell your story.
Encourage your students to tell their stories.
Invite your students to “come and see.”