5 Reasons Why Your Church Needs a Story Team
Each church has a story to tell. It has at least as many stories as there are people in your congregation, and usually many more. Few stories are quite as compelling or important as those that tell of the decision to follow Jesus. These are stories of transformation, love, and discipleship.
Today’s churches have many more opportunities to tell the stories of God’s powerful intercession in people’s lives than ever before. Whether they are told through your church website, your church service, social media platforms, or traditional media, these stories are effective devices to convey those messages.
However, finding those stories and making them meaningful for your community is not a straightforward task. And that is where your story team comes in.
This group of creatives can find the stories that inspire and define your church. Then, through video, writing, and other forms of media, can share these uplifting stories both within and without your church community.
Below are five reasons why a story team can so be beneficial for your church.
1. Stories facilitate outreach
Good stories should be simple to share. And with a dedicated story team, you can make outreach efforts to people normally beyond your core congregation. This is particularly true when you are telling stories about your local area, when you share stories concerning people that are popular in your community, or if a story is especially moving, engaging, or out of the ordinary.
With a group of worshippers that focus their talents solely on crafting great stories, your church can capitalize on the opportunities you need to speak about your ministry in a way that causes a stir with your community.
2. Stories inspire your congregation
By making your ministry’s influence more substantial, stories can energize your members around a particular issue and excite them to become more active in that cause. Perhaps you need more preachers specialized in certain niches, so you speak with some other Christians from a nearby church and share experiences together. Or maybe you could interview existing leaders to see if you could develop their interests in other directions too.
You can generate compassion with a story and provide individuals with a vision of what it would mean to be more involved in ministry. They can also assuage people’s fears regarding any difficulties that might prevent them from deepening their participation in the community.
Stories can shine a light on any specific events, causes and projects that you might need your congregation to be more involved in. A good story team can bring home the immediacy and importance of these ministries, spurring people into action, and getting the word out about what you are doing, and why you are doing it.
A story also has an emotional impact that transgresses cultural predispositions as well, meaning that they can unify members of your congregation where people with diverse backgrounds come together to worship as one.
3. Stories help you to preach
Sunday worship is the foundation for almost all churches. And preaching is the center point of that worship. Therefore storytelling is such a crucial part of your message. As Christ used parables when addressing His disciples, so too should you use the power of stories today.
Stories also convey truths in a way that contextualizes otherwise abstract concepts – again, not unlike a biblical parable. They can make tangible the realities of your ministry, and show how your mission is changing people’s lives in an everyday way. They are also a medium through which the real impact your church has on your community can be felt and understood on a deeper level.
Furthermore, stories also provide an alternative to a data-laden world. Stories connect with people in ways more fundamental than a simple recounting of facts and figures. And stories are especially important to children, which makes them a perfect conduit for transmitting the truths of your faith and your culture.
4. Small group worship
Although the big Sunday worship event is central to your church, often some of the most significant and authentic forms of community participation occurs in small groups. These might be bible study sessions, Sunday school classes, or just informal prayer gatherings. They are great places to connect and make lasting, personal connections with others.
And that is what makes these meetings such a perfect place for storytelling. Relationships result in trust, which opens the space for individual stories. Motivating those leaders and volunteers who run these groups to use tales of their experience to make the Bible and Christian encounter more relatable is an opportunity not to be spurned.
Smaller groups are likewise a terrific place to gather stories that can be shared on your website and across your social networks. Enable team leaders to be on the look-out for inspiring stories and use these stories to further inspire others.
5. Stories help leverage your capacity – and save money in the process
One of the major reasons why many churches don’t make the most of their storytelling potential is simply a lack of resources. Your church might not have enough staff, and your financial situation just doesn’t justify the expense.
And yet, storytelling itself can assuage many of the seeming problems that prevent you from doing it to begin with.
First, every church would welcome more volunteers. More people to help with fundraising events, more people to staff projects. More cooks for ministry breakfasts, and more musicians for the midweek band night. You could even use more volunteers on your storytelling team. And as luck would have it, storytelling can help bring those volunteers to your church. Volunteers are motivated by the inspiring life stories that compel them to give up their time in the first place, and so are drawn by the stories that your church tells. It’s a win-win scenario.
Second, stories don’t just inspire people to give their time, they inspire people to donate their money and their resources too. By presenting a narrative of what your church is aspiring to achieve, your story team can show people why it is worth contributing financially to your church. By engaging potential donors through the power of stories, you are securing revenue increases that facilitate your church mission. And with a donor giving platform like DonorWerx, the mission of your church can be realized in a much more timely and streamlined fashion.
Finally, stories can be used to grow your church too. Simply explaining the vision of your church is a great way for pastors and worshippers to pull together in the same direction, and make the chances of success for your community all that much greater.
Storytelling is a testament to the creativity of your talents which God gave you to inspire faith in Him in others. The creative act of storytelling is as much a witness to your ministry as any other action. And just as the Bible is a story comprised of stories, the story of your church can also be illuminated through the re-telling of its own individual stories.
With the help of your story team, you can maximize the reach of your church and provide better opportunities to minister and engage. And through that engagement you can grow to become the church you were meant to be.