This morning I arrived at the Storyline Conference, a conference for writers, and as I walked into the lobby of the Willowcreek Church I was taken back to the early 90’s when I first came here for another conference. Bill Hybels is the founding pastor and is about my age. I now see a picture of the one of the young teaching pastors – fresh, clean cut, lots of brown hair, nice sweater, and I think, where has my youth gone. Hopefully I’ve gained some wisdom but we are such a youth oriented culture. There are so many things we could share as a multigenerational culture but we continue to practice a kind of ageism – what’s young and hip and cool.
The art of story telling is really the art of preaching and teaching too and that is the reason I’m here. We are spending so much time being told stories by advertisers and other media. Yet, most of us have lost the art of telling the story. The greatest story of all – the Good News from a dusty neglected corner of the world. Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Bethany – villages really where the Great Story was birthed and grew. Can we learn to be story tellers? That is my quest. I pray that you would pray for the gift and skill to tell the Good News in your own way no matter what your age.
Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I told you. You received that Good News message, and you continue to base your life on it. 2 That Good News, the message you heard from me, is God’s way to save you. But you must continue believing it. If you don’t, you believed for nothing. (1 Cor 15:1-2)