Stories are all around us just waiting to be told.
Each week, people of all walks of life walk into your church services. They all have stories. They all have a testimony. They all need their stories told. Our primary job as the church is to make disciples. One of the most powerful ways to impact those outside of the church is through storytelling.
The Bible is full of stories that communicate the good news of God’s love. Without the stories of our Bible heroes like Noah, Abraham, David, Joshua, Peter, and Paul, we would likely never have heard the good news of the Gospel. Stories are powerful and are the primary way we communicate big truths.
Stories are meant to inspire, teach, and transform. They have the power to ignite hope, love, and action. As communicators of the Gospel, we have the responsibility to find stories and help share them with the world. Each person’s story has the power to make a unique impact because every story is different.
Have you ever given advice to someone a million times and then someone else gives the exact same advice and only then does it make a difference? I know I have. That is the power of perspective and nuance.
My story may be similar to someone else’s story, but the perspective will always be different. This is important because it helps us to reach more people. Don’t be afraid to tell similar stories. Instead, find the subtle nuance and bring it to light.
Social media has given us the most incredible platform in history to share stories. Video, pictures, and text can be shared in a matter of seconds with people all around the world. The biggest social media wins your church will experience will be because of storytelling. That has certainly been my experience.
At my last church, I served on staff where one of my responsibilities was social media. We were a church plant that averaged about 100 visitors per week during our Sunday gatherings. We had about 500 likes on our Facebook page, and got an average of 5-10 engagements on our posts.
One Sunday I was shooting some live shots with my DSLR and decided to find a story to tell for social media. I knew one family in the church had an incredible experience with our church and decided to take a picture and ask a simple question: “What has our church meant to your family?” (See their response at the end of the post)
I posted it on Facebook and expected to see a jump in engagement, but never expected to see a 10x to 20x increase. We had 123 people like the post. For a church of 100 people, that’s a huge reach and was an incredible win!
Your church can win with storytelling too! Here’s a simple way to get started:
- Listen to people in your community. Have they told you something that could resonate with others?
- Write out some questions to help them open up about their experience.
- Don’t be afraid to go deeper or ask them to expand upon their answer.
- Use photos or videos to help your audience connect with their words.
You don’t need a marketing degree to reach people through your church. You just need to learn how to tell stories in a way that resonates with your community. Don’t overthink it. Don’t wait for an epiphany. Just find a story and share it. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
Looking for some additional resources to help you get started with storytelling?
– Humans of New York
– Story Team
– Church Marketing Sucks: Gospel Storytelling
– Pro Church Tools on Storytelling
– Relevant Magazine: Storytelling In The Church