When meeting people for the first time I often ask them ‘What’s your story?’
There is a myriad of responses given.
Sometimes people can feel a little awkward or caught off guard, but usually people are quite happy to open up and share with you. Often people are thankful for the opportunity to talk about themselves and give you a little glimpse into their world.
You would be surprised at the opportunities this one little question gives you to invest into someone’s life.
On Saturday at the New Christian Media Conference the theme that was woven through all the talks and workshops was about story telling. Some of the workshops were really useful others were a bit fluffy and vague.
One of the main highlights of the day was Sheridan Voysey’s talk on ‘The Power of Story in a Digital Age.’ The seminar was useful practical and very moving.
Sheridan shared with us the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. He used the biblical account found in John 4, church tradition and a little bit of creative licence.
He also shared with us a story about mango pudding! Sounds odd right. Well the story in short was that he engaged with some new agers in a restaurant. He and his wife were so excited about the mango pudding that they had ordered that a conversation was stricken up with the couple across from them. Eventually the conversation lead to the subject of ‘Spirituality’ and Sheridan and his wife after listening were able to share about their faith in Jesus and tell a bit of their story. This lead to going out for a drink followed by a weekend away at a later date and a the couple are still in contact with Sheridan and his wife.
Sheridan’s encouragement was for us was to listen to the stories of those we meet and share ours. He encouraged us to be vulnerable, something I’m sure that most of us feel uncomfortable doing.
Sheridan’s advice was great. We need to get out there and share our stories.
Story telling is a bit of a buzz-word or phrase at the moment. I guess it means different things to different people. So over the next few weeks I plan to think through what story telling looks like in my context and in my community.
I’ll leave you with a short video of Sheridan talking about the spiritual longings of the West: