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A lot of churches these days don't give people stories so much as, well, baggage. You can draw meaning and strength from stories, but in order to stand upright beneath the weight of the tales that a lot of churches spin, you need to draw meaning and strength from elsewhere. One of the worst disservices such groups inflict on their herds is to cut them off the very sources of inspiration that would allow them to survive their own beliefs.

I think that might be the heart of the problem. I have never seen or heard of a story large enough to live in for more than a few days at a time; I think we have to create the story as we go along, in whole or in part, if it's going to mean anything to us. Robbing people of that power is a surefire way to kill their spirits.

I like the new look, by the way.


Thanks, I think the coloring and the style are much more condusive to "The Pub". Earthy tones make me feel comfortable, which helps with conversation.

Scott Jones

Great post. (by the way, I like the new look).

Story and adventure and journey are central to my understandings of church and my ministry. When I do the "altar call" I see the puzzled looks on folks faces. I say things like "Come make your story a part of our story as we together journey on this adventure to live as disciples of Christ."

James McClendon (a baptist) does theology by telling stories, and I've adopted that for doing youth ministry. We often teach a lesson by learning or re-enacting or talking about the story of some person -- sometimes an older church member, or great figures like Bonhoeffer, Augustine, Lottie Moon, etc. And I hate Bible studies that try to wrap up with some "moral to the story." I just want them to learn the story. They can apply it themselves if the need ever arises.

Thanks for reminding me of one of my passions.

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