Storytelling has become quite a popular term over the last few years. From advertisements, clothing brands, church lingo, and the non-profit world—storytelling is taking over.
I kind of laugh at how [us] millennials have taken over stories…at least, that’s what I thought. But I’ve had this realization over the last several months that maybe—just maybe—it wasn’t millennials who made storytelling cool…and maybe it’s been around longer than this new wave of trendy storytelling.
Turns out Jesus is a really big fan of storytelling—and he talked a lot about going after the one.
In a meeting in Haiti this week, I sat across the table from two Haitian men I deeply respect at Mission of Hope—men I’ve had the privilege of working with for years. They have a lot of responsibility in their roles and it’s evident they see their jobs as an avenue to serve others—it’s their ministry. They are strong believers in Jesus and greatly care for those they lead and influence.
We discussed the different areas of ministry, exciting things happening in each department, wins, hardships, challenges, and transformation stories. I asked, “How do we get people to see their stories as ones worth telling? Because they’re all so very worth it.”
Pastor Samuel, one of the men in the meeting responded, “Rachel, it’s about creating a culture of storytelling for each one. We have to help them understand all of their stories matter. And how they are helping other people’s stories. I want to help them see that.”
I’m with Pastor Samuel—I want to help people see their contribution to the redemptive story God is writing in Haiti and around the world.
- To help the gardener see how he is influencing people through his faithfulness, attention to detail, and kind attitude every single time he encounters someone.
- To help the teacher see how she is literally shaping the amazing, bright, and hopeful futures for countless young boys and girls.
- To help the accounting team know their diligence in reconciling accounts, cutting checks, and ensuring we all turn in our receipts allows the organization to run with integrity.
- For the sweet elderly man at the Grace House to know how he blesses people each time he sits and plays dominos, dances with someone, or tells a joke no one understands but we laugh at him laughing at himself.
- For the nurse at the clinic to know how when she stopped in the hallway and bent down to look at a sick baby girl at eye-level, she showed that baby’s mama she was seen and important.
Today, sitting in the office around a table, talking about all the stories and all God has done in the lives of people—it sank in in a new way for me. It will always be about the one and it will always be about God’s redemptive story and His love for everyone. Always.
Here’s to storytelling and to remembering to trust the very best Author.