Preach the Word#3. “The Power of the Story.”

Preach the Word#3. “The Power of the Story.”

A friend visited a church and said that he was not going back. What had upset him was a dialogue between the brother doing the announcements and the song leader. Apparently, the two brothers spent a full ten minutes of church time exchanging comments, jabs, and jokes about the latest happenings. He thought it inappropriate given the setting.

In thinking about this over the years, I can only guess that those churches are full of old friends that are locked in an ongoing storytelling ritual. I think every church has one, they just express it in different ways.

Our lives are a series of stories. Some are worth repeating, others not.

The Bible is the ultimate book of stories. Hundreds of stories of love, hate, miracles, plagues, bandits, hermits, spoilt brats, the pure, the sinful, the meek and the wild. Who can forget Jacob’s devotion and Delilah’s deceit? Or Esther’s bravery and Judas’ cowardice? All, of course, pointing to that one world-changing story; that of a man sent from heaven to save a sinful world.

Jesus’ preaching was full of stories. Heavenly light flooded into the hearts and souls of those listening to his parables.

Jesus used fictional stories (parables) to make his spiritual points. Stories designed to sort the believers from the unbelievers—the believers being enlightened as to the mysteries of God, and the unbelievers being blinded to the truth.

Today’s sermons must expect to bring the same reactions to the Gospel that Jesus’ sermons brought. His was a series of sermons telling the story of the Kingdom of Christ. Ours must too…

And let’s face it: Listening to a sermon without practical illustrations is like learning to cook in the dark; if you don’t poison yourself, you are bound to get burned.

John Staiger


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