In his introduction to the book of Exodus in The Message, Eugene Peterson writes, “It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, or a precise definition or a catchy slogan, but as story. . . . Story is an invitation to participate, first through our imagination and then, if we will, by faith, with our total lives in response to God.”
Stories Transform Us
Lillian Daniels writes, “Testimony seems to have no beginning or end, no alpha or omega. After we tell God’s story, it tells us, and then we have a new story to tell. The stories shape the community, and the community responds with new stories. But both the telling and the hearing have the power to transform” (Tell It Like It Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony, The Alban Institute, 2006, p. 21).
Community = Stories
Daniel Taylor writes, “Human beings are innately social creatures, and stories are the single most powerful glue that binds us together. One definition of a community is people who share common stories. People know who they are and who they belong to by the stories that they tell together.”
Stories Build Connections
“Our greatest desire, greater than even the desire for happiness, is that our lives mean something. This desire for meaning is the originating impulse of story. We tell stories because we hope to find or create significant connections between things. Stories link past, present, and future in a way that tells us where we have been . . . where we are, and where we could be going. Our stories teach us that there is a place for us, that we fit” (Tell Me a Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories, Bog Walk Press, 2001, p. 1).