By Jenn Byham
Everyone loves a good story. A story with emotion and drama. A story that touches a deep longing in our hearts, or one that makes us see things in a different light. A story has the power to take away prejudice and judgement. A story, crafted well, has the power to transform opinion.
Just a few short months ago the National Basketball Association (NBA) was looked on with disgust. People hated the greed they saw in the players and owners. People were disappointed with the lack of "love of the game". Then you take a kid like Jeremy Lin, and all of a sudden you have fans; you have "Linsanity".
Jeremy Lin was never drafted, was cut by two NBA teams before joining the Knicks this year, and had mostly sat on the bench before recently leading the Knicks to multiple victories. All of a sudden you have fans, joy, and excitement. Haters of the NBA have become involved. It happened with Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos. It's happening again with Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks.
Jeremy Lin was largely unknown three weeks ago. He wasn't anything special... or was he? He isn't that tall for a basketball player... Only 6'3". He didn't graduate from a powerhouse college. He got lucky because there were several other players who were injured on the Knicks team, right? He may just be on a lucky streak, but he has led the downright hopeless Knicks to actually being a contender. And guess who he is giving the glory: God.
The best part of Lin's story is he has been sleeping on his teammate's couch. WHAT? Surely everyone in the NBA makes enough money to own their own home and live the high life, right? An NBA player sleeping on a couch? That couch is going to be worth millions soon. We don't know where Lin's story will end, but he has inspired people. He has united fans and sucked in the opposition to cheer for a guy who wasn't wanted. He has sold out stadiums (something that was not happening this year in the NBA). He has done all of this while still staying humble in his faith.
Stories are powerful. People want to know how those around them are beating the odds. Your volunteers want to know how a person they said “hello” to decided to come to your church and then give their life to Christ. Small group leaders want to know about the small group who supported their neighbor after they lost their job and can't make ends meet. People need to hear about ordinary people using their gifts and talents to impact communities devastated by natural disasters.
You have tons of stories. Craft them and share them. You can begin to inspire people to do more and be more for the Kingdom. To get you started, here's a powerful video from North Point Community Church:
What are the stories you aren't sharing with your congregations? What stories should you be telling about life change?
Jenn Byham serves in a Communications role at CCB. She has a passion for building relationships and creating community. Nothing gets her more jazzed (yes, jazzed) than seeing the impact ordinary people can have on extraordinary situations. When she's not trying to defend herself with her Nerf gun, she can be found hidden beneath her heated blanket trying to stay warm.