Understanding the nuances of story will help you communicate more effectively.
All ministry is communication intensive.
It follows that storytelling and understanding the nuances of story will help any leader in the daily ebb and flow of communication.
Use these story types to do an inventory on your own “range” of utilizing stories as a leader.
1. Creation Story.
I am not referring to the first book of Scripture, but to the genesis of the organization itself. If you are a pastor, you should know more about the creation story of your church than anyone on the planet.
What are the circumstances — passions, problems and people — surrounding how the church got started to begin with?
Mastering the richness of the creation story will help in two major ways. First, it will hold insight into the unique culture of the church and therefore future decision making and vision. Second, your mastery of the story itself will bring tremendous credibility with people when initiating change.
Action Step: Write a one-page, two-minute creation story talk. If you have any gaps in your knowledge, interview people in your church until you know more than anyone else.
2. Signature Story.
A signature story relates to any milestones or hand-of-God moments after the creation story. Obviously a church with more history will have more signature stories. These accounts show off strengths of the church and God’s hand in its history. I look for signature stories when discerning a church’s Kingdom Concept (what can your church do better than 10,000 others?).
These stories reveal the values and mark the high-water line of God’s activity and unique journey for each church.
Use the signature stories the same way as the creation story: celebrating God’s goodness, explaining decision-making and guiding change.
Action Step: Make a list of three to five possible signatures stories in your church. Ask key leaders to do the same and make a master list of the top five.