In the last 15 years, I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of communicators. I’ve made films for churches, shared stories for sermon series, produced events and conferences, and created promos for organizations. And in all that time, I’ve never met anyone – a leader or pastor, a teacher or preacher, a creative or communicator – who didn’t care about impacting their audience.
Every communicator I’ve ever met wants to create impact, to get something across in a powerful way that resonates. That desire is pretty universal. Whether we’re telling a joke, teaching a class, or trying to make a point to our spouse, we are hardwired to convey our message to other people. This instinct lives deep within us, the desire to communicate an idea in order to enact some sort of response.
Of course, this desire can create tension when we’re unable to do that. Miscommunication, misunderstandings and missed opportunities are extremely frustrating if you’re a communicator. If you’ve ever traveled outside the English-speaking world, you’ve probably noticed how frustrating it can be to be unable to communicate.
Or maybe you’ve found yourself in a situation when you were so sure you had something powerful to share – something that would move people. And then when you got there, it fell flat. The joke wasn’t funny. The point got lost. You were met with a room full of blank stares. They didn’t get what you were trying to say.
For those of us in ministry, this can feel especially defeating. After all, didn’t God call us into this work? Hasn’t He given us a burden to see transformation in people’s lives? The answer is yes! We were designed to create impact. It’s inside us, it’s part of who we are.
This is why we believe so much in the power of story, especially when it comes to ministry. People need to see how God works, how good He is. We need to hear how He can change an impossible situation. We need to see what it means to have faith, to remain hopeful, to persevere.
When you share stories, you speak directly to the experience of your audience. You empower them by putting language to the things they’ve been struggling with. You show evidence that they’re not alone. You stir up worship in the hearts of God’s people. You build their faith. You remind them of the good and great God they serve.
If you want to create ministry impact, tell more stories. You will be amazed at how God uses the personal testimonies in your church to speak directly to people’s experience. “Thank you, I really needed to hear that” is the highest compliment we can receive as a Story Team. It shows us that God uses stories to minister to people at a deep level, drawing them close and setting them free.
God is in the business of transformation. When you hear stories of life change, share them! Your people need to hear them, for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom. And when you share stories, watch how God impacts the faith of everyone who hears them.