I confess I’ve planned an entire lesson around a funny story I just had to tell even though I could barely find a Bible verse to go with it. I have been known to spend more time perfecting my PowerPoint presentation than meditating on the passage I was preparing to teach. I’ve slighted prayer in order to set up the projector. I’ve secretly wondered how I could be effective without a building, a budget, or a band. In fact, working in a larger church only lends itself to wanting a still bigger building, budget, and I still don’t have a band. All of these struggles are symptoms of a deeper problem in me. I’m more concerned about having the right storytelling tools, toys, and talent than I am about the Story I’m called to tell.
As youth workers, we must recapture the cross of the Story. Students need the power of the Gospel more than they need my flashy PowerPoint presentations. The method of story telling will have no power to transform the next generation unless they hear and believe the message of the Story in the stories we tell them (Galatians 3:1-5).
An excerpt from my article “Valuing Story Telling Over Telling The Story” in YouthWorker Journal (2004).