What happened to the old-fashioned church testimony meeting where believers would give witness to their personal experience with God? Have we lost our first love or become too busy, or embarrassed by the gospel? Maybe we’ve become jaded by the use of story as a marketing tool. Selling good news is not what Jesus meant when he said, “You shall be my witnesses.”
Seeking to redeem the purpose and integrity of personal testimony, this interactive workshop presents a simple universal story map used in the biblical narrative that conforms to what we now understand about communication patterns and the biology of storytelling. After this workshop, you will be able to:
Narrative worship is not just for Sunday meetings or sermon preparation. It can happen over a cup of coffee or around the dinner table. Well-told stories can shift hearts, decisions, and actions. They can bring peace and hope where facts and truth alone are impotent. With effective guideposts to provide a structure proven effective, your story can shed light on the nature of God that outweighs personal opinion. Yet the outline you will learn is so simple it can be used to unlock the wisdom of children.
The Narrative Worship workshop is designed for pastors and church leaders who carry stories of faith for your community and have opportunity to teach others the art of witness through storytelling. As you become an example of bringing spiritual stories to life you are increasing the narrative competency of those who hear you.
In a relaxed and trusting atmosphere, you’ll be able to explore and share your own story. Space is limited to ensure personal attention to your own unique narrative and your contribution to the story we will create together about who God is among us as we meet together. Share fellowship over meals and attend (optional) the performance of “No Graven Image” at the FringeArts Theater following the workshop. The show is included as part of the workshop, but you must register separately for the show using the link above.
This workshop is offered at NO COST TO YOU, thanks to a Vital Worship grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc. A reservation fee of $50 will hold your spot but will be fully refunded once you attend the workshop.
As the director of Sidebar Stories, Ron is dedicated to the study and promotion of storytelling to change dominant social narratives that harm people, families and communities. His experience comes from the narrative practice of a pastor, family therapist and hospice chaplain. His emphasis on trust and relationships open the door for new stories to be discovered and told in a way that make a difference.
Kristyn is director of the Oriented to Love dialogue program at Christians for Social Action, helping Christians have more generative conversations about sexual/gender diversity in the church. Fascinated by what happens when we approach our “other” in the posture of a learner—with vulnerability, bravery, curiosity, and humility—Kristyn enjoys reframing conflict not as something to be feared or avoided but as an opportunity for maturing in Christ. Personal story is at the heart of her dialogue work.
Jeff is the creator of Pathways to Peace, a peacemaking group that uses storytelling to bridge the gap between diverse faith communities. He will be sharing his own story of struggle with religious narratives that have been toxic to his spiritual life. Jeff brings the courage to live and tell hard stories when the stakes are high. You will learn from Jeff how to find your own story and make it count for good.