When my father was about 10 years old, he was late getting out of the house for school one day. He grabbed his metal lunch pail and ran out the door to Aunt Lena’s waiting car full of all his siblings. But his feet couldn’t keep up with his body (or his lunch pail) and as his sisters describe it, he went flying into the air, whacked himself on the head with his lunch pail and fell to the ground, lifeless…
They were all sure he was dead. Apparently, the wailing was heard around the county.
Obviously, my father was not dead, or I wouldn’t be writing this. But the story has been told so many times that every child, nephew, niece, in-law, and grandchild hears the words “lunch pail” and smiles to themselves.
So what’s the point of that story? There isn’t really a life lesson or a good vs evil theme. But it does connect us as a family. It’s a story of our shared history. It gives us an identity.
When it comes to our faith, stories remind us of who we are and where we belong. The Bible itself is one fantastic sweeping story of our family history. It gives us identity, a shared history, and a place in the rest of the story. Our own stories do the same, the good ones and the hard ones. And when told with God at the center, they build our own faith. When shared in community, they help develop each other's faith.
Faith Formation is offering a cohort starting October 2022 on Sharing Stories To Build Faith. This cohort will meet via Zoom on a monthly basis to learn how to develop a culture of faith storytelling in their congregations and families.
Together the members of this cohort will explore the following topics:
How to take the fear out of sharing a personal story
The importance of knowing your personal family stories
How to share Bible stories so faith is shared
Why we can’t skip the hard stories
The importance of knowing your church’s family story
How to embed storytelling into the culture of your congregation
If you are interested in how your church can build faith through storytelling, learn more and join our Sharing Stories to Build Faith cohort. If you are interested in learning more about faith storytelling, check out our Faith Storytelling Toolkit.