This Advent, my Tuesday posts will focus on gifts church leaders can give their congregations. I have seen such gifts deeply move God’s people. Such gifts that can form and shape the culture of a thriving congregation.
The pastor was speaking with a member as I approached. It looked like the member sounded tired, worn down. The pastor was saying,
“Remember the Parable of the Persistent Widow? How she kept praying until her prayers were answered?’
“Yes,” the member said, nodding her head slowly.
The pastor continued, “I’m not suggesting you become like that woman. I’m saying you are already praying like the Persistent Widow. Watch and listen. God will answer.”
As church leaders, we are expected to equip, comfort and inspire God’s people. Bible stories are a deep and diverse pool of gifts to do just that.
Which stories from the Bible capture your imagination?
One of my favorite stories is from the first couple chapters of Nehemiah. A Jewish captive in a foreign land, Nehemiah is a royal servant. After discovering Jerusalem remains in ruins, Nehemiah puts together a plan to rebuild the holy city. Just addressing the king could cost him his life, so there is little hope he could actually put the plan in action. Yet God makes it happen.
The stories that move you likely move other members as well. Does your congregation need courage? Speak of Joshua or Paul and Silas. Do they need assurance of God’s love for them? Repeat the story of Jesus and the thief on the cross next to him. Tell them about Jesus and the woman at the well.
God’s stories remind God’s people of their own experiences with God. As they hear again of God’s faithfulness to Israel, they remember times when God sustained them. As they hear of God’s comforting His people, they recall times when God comforted them.
I appreciate how personal testimony can comfort or inspire fellow believers. But an individual Christian only has so many experiences. The Bible provides stories and accounts that apply to any and every situation God’s people are facing.
Unsure about Bible stories? Feel ill equipped to share Bible stories? Read the Bible. Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes each morning or evening. Get The Story, a great summary of the Mission of God has it unfolds in Scripture.
Want to learn Bible stories and encourage God’s people at the same time? For the next three months, start every meeting at church with each participant sharing a favorite Bible story.
At one time, I was confused at why the Psalmists would recount the Exodus story. Surely the Jewish people already knew this story by heart. Why repeat it in Psalm 105, 106, etc.? Now, I think I have an idea why. We need reminders of God’s faithfulness. We desire hope. We crave confidence. Biblical stories meet these needs and more.
Share one of your favorite Bible stories in the comments or via email. Other posts in this series: