Telling God Stories - Issue #128
by Betsey Heavner
“In the airport, I was feeling pretty smug about sacrificing my vacation week for clean-up work in Haiti. Once on the airplane, I looked around and realized the plane was full of other people doing the same thing. God was right there dealing with my pride and showing me how we all need to care for each other.” As a member told this “God Story” one Wednesday night, the people at First United Methodist Church in Benton, Kentucky, nodded as they recognized the power of God’s presence in this story and in their own lives.
The telling of “God Stories” began when one small study group decided to act on a challenge from the study material and developed a plan to increase faith sharing in the congregation. They approached the worship committee with the idea of including a three- to five-minute “God Story” in Sunday morning worship. Individuals are scheduled in advance so that they have time to collect their thoughts.
Another way of increasing faith sharing has been created with a slight change to the Sunday morning reporting of joys and concerns. Now the leaders ask, “Where have you seen God at work this week?”
As a next step, the congregation added “God Stories” to the informal worship time during the Wednesday evening programming. Younger people seem to especially appreciate hearing how people experience God in their daily lives.
As the church has shared stories with intentionality, personal faith sharing and regular attendance have increased. Led by the example of others’ stories, volunteers of all ages are coming forward to ask for a turn to tell their God stories.