Leader’s Guide to Storytelling

11Oct04

“The people carrying Kate Spade handbags, or wearing Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger, or getting their coffee from Starbucks, are not merely wearing apparel or quenching their thirst – they are activating into a narrative that gives their lives some degree of cohesion and meaning.

Similarly the Harley-Davidson brand conveys a narrative of roughness, Hell’s Angels, the open road of the south-western deserts, entitling the bearer to be treated with cautious respect, even fear. When someone rides a Harley-Davidson, it’s not merely transportation: it’s activating a narrative about rebellion, authenticity and liberation.[1] [page 89]”

From Steve Denning’s blog

Ok, this is quote is about business and I am NOT trying to apply business principles to Kingdom (that’s been tried and found wanting). BUT, I think he’s on to something re: Story. We are people of story. We live (and die) by Story. We don’t truly operate on principles or propositions, we understand our lives by way of the story we find ourselves in (or the one we want to be in).

As Christians then, we inhabit a Narrative – a way of understand the world. How it came to be, why we are here, where we are going. It is about the plot. But we are also assailed with a multitude of Other Stories. Ones that bid for our allegiance. Stories of pride and consumption. Perhaps Jesus’ three temptations were the three basic Stories we are tempted to live in. Stories of sustenance, protection, and power.

How do we live in this world of competing Stories? We immerse ourselves in the Gospel Narrative. Not just the four books called Gospels – but the Whole Gospel that God began in Genesis and gives us foresight into thru Revelation. That’s what the Christian community does – we remind each other of what Story we live by. That is what good Liturgy does – it orients us in our story to God’s Story.

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