I recently read an article written by a long term missionary – you can read the article here. She talked about how it is best to share your stories when you come back from “somewhere else.”
I’m a firm believer in the power of stories.
The power of stories to encourage people.
The power of stories to enrage people.
The power of stories to get things changed.
The power of stories to impact the needy.
The power of stories to heal people.
There are so many things that can be done by telling the stories of the rich and the poor and the sick and the wounded and the cultures and the people and the rules and the restrictions and the blessings and the activities that happen all over the world.
We need to be able to tell the stories. We need to be able to learn from the stories. We need to be able to, be challenged to do something because of the stories.
A number of years back, after returning from a short term mission trip, I was preparing to give the obligatory “church report” on our trip. Since I had been essentially the team leader (actually it was my wife but……) I was going to be doing most of the talking. A friend of mine, a high school teacher and a veteran of many mission trips (when you are fluent in Spanish, they like you to come along on trips to Central America) said to me, “Tom, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your trip, but I don’t want to hear what you did. I want to hear what God did, I want to hear where you saw God.”
So instead of talking about what we built, I told the congregation about the worship service we went to – where for an hour and a half, the only word we could understand was “Amen” but it was “the most moving worship service I’ve ever been to.” (Quote from a team member.)
Instead of talking about what we did, I told them about the impact that their gifts made and how God used them to support us so we could support the long term people.
Stories. I love to tell stories. I look around the room at school, at church, in the grocery store and think, wow, there are so many stories that God is working on.
Tell the right story, tell your story.
Tell God’s story.