Our Missional Communities regularly goes through the Story-Formed Way, an interactive storytelling and dialogue covering the major narratives of scripture. We rehurse the Gospel Story regularly to one another and look for any oportunity to share, and remember among ourselves, what God has done and is doing for us to renew all things. We do this because we want our people to see their lives as substories in the larger Story of God rather then live in some lesser narrative. Yet we also want our people to know the Gospel Story well enough that they can share it with others.
Arron Spiro and the bands from Soma Communities have created some great Story-Formed Music that is meant to accompany and reinforce the narratives of the Biblical Story. They tell the biblical story beautifully, yet do so in a modern sound that both the churched and unchurched can relate to. Click on the Album covers below to preview or purchase the albums.
It seems like everybody is jumping on the idea of teaching the Bible as God’s Story. In our Missional Communities, we do this through The Story-Formed Way and through rehursing God’s Story through Creation -> Fall -> Redemption -> Restoration (CFRR). Below is a video by Jerome Gay sharing God’s Story through CFRR:
- What do you think of Jerome’s Presentation?
- What would you add or omit?
- What do you think of the language he uses? What parts are helpful? What part are not?
- What’s the benifit of knowing the Story through Creation -> Fall -> Redemption -> Restoration?
- How is telling God’s work this way better than just telling people about the Cross?
Picture found here: http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/2096/godsbigstorycolor.jpg
Holy Week, especially Good Friday and Easter, is probably one of the best times to invite someone to a gospel presentation of some sort or to attend church with you.
In our Mother Church, we handed out bible tracts to all of our members. Each tracts simply told the story of Easter and why it is important. In each of those tracts was an invitation to one of our Good Friday or Easter Sunday services. We could have advertised over the radio, in the newspaper, or in mass mailings, but most people give a church a try because someone personally invited them. We encouraged each member of our church to hand that tract and invite to someone they know who was dechurched or unchurched and invite them to come to church with them.
Since we are in the process of starting a church and haven’t started formal services, I encourage you to invite some people to attend church with you at St. Paul. You could use the bible tracts if you’d like, but all of you know the Story and have been trained in telling it. You could share the tract or simply invite them to church. At Some point, be ready to tell the Story. Remember what can happen if you’re not prepared to tell the whole story. Telling them “Christ is risen” is indeed the central message of Christianity and Easter, but if you don’t expand on who he is, why he had to die, and what his resurrection will bring, the Easter Story won’t make much sense.
Again, Follow a Creation –> Fall –> Redemption –> Restoration pattern
Explain the God Created everything Good. The world was as it should be. Everything was perfect. We lived with God, others, ourselves, and creation in perfect relationships.
In the Fall, humanity joined in the rebellion of God’s enemy. They rejected God’s love and protection and sought life elsewhere. Their rebellion, called sin, broke all the perfect relationships we had at Creation. All creation began breaking down. Pain, suffering, natural disasters, war, violence, sickness, and death were all a result of our rebellion.
Yet God sent His Son into the World to Redeem all of Creation. He loved us so much that he was willing to carry all the burdens of our rebellion and to experience the worst of it as he died an excruciating death on the cross. He died the death we deserved and we receive an exchange. He took on our guilt on the cross so that we could take on his right standing with God. We are considered innocent because Jesus stood in our place and took our punishment as the guilty party. Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning and proved he had defeated death. Now we have the assurance that because He lives, we’ll live also.
Jesus ascended back to His Father in Heaven, but before He left he gave us His Spirit. Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus now dwells in us. He has begun to restore us to the people we were meant to be as we have a new relationship with God and he has chosen to use us to start restoring in part the world around us as we display God’s goodness in our actions and share the good news of what He’s done with others. One day, God will bring all things to a full restoration. All the bad things of this world will no longer be remembered. God will restore all things as they were meant to be. The world will be perfect again. We’ll live in pleasure forever in the presence of God.
We all have this great hope. Make sure you share it with someone this Easter.