What’s Your Story?

Post a Comment » Written on January 1st, 2011     
Filed under: Reflection
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Eric Landin – Pastoral Intern, Cedarcreek Covenant Church, Maple Valley, WA

In my 16 months of youth ministry as an NPTS intern, I have learned that many of our students don’t know the classic Bible stories – the ones branded into your young impressionable mind as a child in Sunday School. And even those who do know the stories are silenced when you ask them a big question, like, “What is the Bible about?”

Tragically, our students don’t see the big picture of the Bible: the story that started at the beginning and is continued in our lives today, the story of a God who is Creator, Sustainer, Lover, and Redeemer of all that is.

Last April, Jeff Palmberg (Mercer Island Covenant) suggested Michael Novelli’s Shaped By The Story. Novelli adapts the idea of chronological Bible storying for youth groups – engaging the Bible through storytelling. Students explore each individual story AND the meta-narrative of scripture by making connections between the stories.

We began “storying” in September. We’re on our way from Creation to Acts, hitting the major stories along the way. Each session involves reviewing the stories we’ve told in the past, telling a new story, retelling that new story with creative expressions, and discussing the story and its connections with scripture and our lives. We’re constantly trying to put ourselves in the stories, to use our imagination and creativity to engage stories that seem like old hat. To record our progress, we’re constructing a mosaic of chicken wire, fabric, and random objects to watch the Story unfold.

It’s slow going. It’s December and we haven’t made it out of the first 20 chapters of Genesis.

But God keeps reminding me to have patience. Lord willing, when we reach the end of our storying cycle in May, there will be a few students who realize the redemptive power of Christ in their lives and get their hands dirty with the Kingdom work of bringing hope and redemption to others.

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