• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Sharing stories

If it is true that “one of the reasons why ‘working together’ is not a descriptor that currently characterizes us is because we don’t know others in our community as well as we should,” then we need to create opportunities where we can talk and engage one another.

In the past, during the World Team Institute of Church Planting, there was a time when people would “share their histories” or “share their stories”.  It was a moment where people talked about their spiritual journey.  It wasn’t necessarily a long drawn out event, but in several minutes you gained an appreciation for how God had worked in another person’s life.  I believe that time of sharing built trust among those present as you recognized the hand of God in another’s journey.Sharing_your_stories_623

Though we may not be able to regularly reproduce that history sharing time, our digitoral or virtual age allows us to engage in this kind of conversation, even from a distance.  Scott Peck, a writer who has written extensively on the issue of community, said that community can be developed over a long period of time or a very short period.  It’s the energy and intentionality that we put into the time shared that will move it more quickly to community.

Because “working together” is a value to us, and since this value is nurtured by time spent together, let’s seize the opportunities we have through Skype, e-mail, Twitter or phone to share our stories with another.  Certainly, when we are together, we can go deeper in that conversation, but why not begin building that trust relationship now virtually.

We can start down this conversation road by asking a simple question next time we’re “on-line”: what has the Lord been doing in your life this week?

Maybe you have another question to suggest.

 

 

8 Responses

  1. I strongly believe in working together, sharing our stories, building community and World Team’s core value of interdependence, BUT there is an aberration of this value that renders missionaries to be ineffective as related to their primary purpose of making disciples of all peoples. I observed this in Haiti –thankfully not as much in World Team as in some other agencies. Expatriates too often tend to flock together becoming an ingrown community forming a kind of ghetto that cut them off from those that they profess that they are trying to reach with the gospel. Missionaries need to learn how to build community and work together with nationals. Having observed this Mary Lee and I put our primary emphasis on focusing on the building of social relationships within the Haitian community SHARING our stories together while maintaining interdependence with fellow missionaries. Modern media has enabled me to maintain relationships with nearly 100 Haitians although absent from Haiti over 33 years. This comment is not to be understood as opposition to this post but only a caution concerning a trap that many have fallen into.

    • Appreciate your concern about workers building community with national workers. That is certainly needed and to be encouraged. What I was talking about though was the distance that can build between workers on different teams. We lose a tremendous amount of synergy and collaboration when we allow walls to rise between us because we haven’t taken the time to know one another.

      • I agree. However I also know that synergy and collaboration comes in many colors. When a deep trust relationships is established with nationals and they feel the freedom to share their stories with you with candor and transparency, I have found that the diversity of ideas and biblical and behavioral insights are more stimulating and helpful. It helps us as foreigners to better overcome our cultural blindness. Of course, we should do both. We work together far better when we know each other’s stories.

      • True. I think we are talking about two different levels: we as a WT community and the context in which we minister. Your comments apply to both of those spheres. We need to work together by understanding one another better and hearing one another’s stories whether it is fellow workers (teammates, support center staff or others) or fellow believers and co-laborers in the gospel.

  2. Actually I like that question a lot! What has God been doing in my life this week? Actually I asked Him to deal with me every time I have a discontented thought this year. Anytime I’m tempted to think that life would be better if only…., I have asked Him to give me more of an attitude of gratitude this year. Satan sewed discontent within Eve’s heart over what she had. Was it because she was first of all ungrateful? i want God to help me be so much more grateful and thankful over all He has given me in Christ Jesus that I give no opportunity to the devil. He’s starting to open my eyes more and more to my discontent. Christ has set me free from Satan’s power. Beth Moore says, “We don’t want stronghold management…we want freedom!”

    • It is a good question and thanks for sharing how it’s been helping you. I’m amazed how a simple yet profound question can allow people to share their journey, as you did, and the person ‘listening’ is encouraged, blessed and challenged.

  3. Significant ‘story sharing’ is currently happening in the online discussions of the Evangelism module. This may be one of the key outcomes of online learning. Encourage each other to enroll now in one of the course offerings. The next one starts March 6. Enroll with Ginny.Crapser@worldteam.org.

    • It would be great if some from the core skills module on evangelism shared their stories with us, to encourage others as to the benefit of this kind of learning and training.

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