country_music

I watch The Voice on NBC. I’m a musician and former worship leader and enjoy the show. The judges are fantastic this year. One thing that keeps jumping out at me is Country artist and coach, Blake Shelton, who is fond of saying country music tells a story and country artists are storytellers. I’ve thought a lot about that.

At my staff meetings, on our staff retreat and even last week when I spoke in Canada to church leaders, I said that we are storytellers. As you know, country music is a huge industry and is extremely popular. What can we learn from them? I think we can learn that stories connect, inspire, encourage and are a very powerful and effective way to cast vision. Don’t miss this! If you want to cast vision to your people: Share stories. Specifically, share stories of life change.

This is why baptism videos and testimonies are so wonderful and compelling. Stories move people, capture our attention, our hearts and hopefully call us to action. When I spoke to church leaders last week in Canada, I shared a video from my church that featured the story of two men we baptized. It moved people and reminded them why we do what we do.

For over a decade, I’ve heard the words of Ed Young, Jr. ring in my head: “People don’t give to need. They give to vision.” If we want to call our people to action, stir their hearts and encourage them to use their gifts, serve, lead and impact their world – we’ve got to tell stories that stretch and challenge them. A great story is compelling and attractive – that’s why we are still proclaiming the same story 2000 years later, week after week in our churches.

As communicators of the gospel, we need to take a lesson from country music and become better storytellers.┬áIt was Howard Hendricks (Prof) that said, “It is a sin to bore people with the Bible.” I couldn’t agree more. When you preach, lead kids and student ministries, small groups and program for your worship experiences – let story be at the center of what you plan and prepare.

Tell a great story and you will move your people to action. This is something I believe to my core and am working at fiercely in my own ministry setting. Let’s communicate with passion the greatest story ever told. Let us be intentional about sharing the God-stories in our churches and communicating well the life change happening all around us. God bless you as you lead.

Greg Atkinson

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