Why Stories Are So Important

Do you collect stories? Fictional stories. True stories. Stories about you.

I try to collect stories. There is nothing more powerful than starting a youth night, bible study, or a sermon or homily off with a powerful and relevant story. Because of that fact, I try to collect stories anywhere I can.

Jesus used stories all the time in his ministry. Parables became the heart of how he taught people. That should be true for me as well.

Here are 3 reasons why stories are so effective in ministry:

  1. Everyone loves a good story! Stories serve as a great hook to whatever the topic is. Just think about the best story telling movies you can think. Big Fish and Forrest Gump come to mind. What incredible stories of life, adventures, and lessons learned. We all get hooked by a great story.
  2. All stories can teach a lesson. Some even teach multiple lessons! Practical life experiences can bring alive a certain point or lesson you want to teach.
  3. Stories break up the monotony. I have encountered speakers that all they do is teach a point. In fact, I’ve been one of those speakers. There’s nothing interesting about the subject or the speaker. When leading a talk, break up the teaching points with good stories and illustrations. Nothing keeps an audience more focused and attentive than that.

I have no idea who to credit this story for, but I love this story and has been an effective part of numerous retreats and messages for some of the talks I have given. I hope you enjoy it and I hope that you can utilize this story in your ministry.

 

The Room

The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.”

The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, pick out any cross you wish.”

The man was filled with relief. “Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and he did as he was told. Walking through the room, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not even visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered.

And the Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

 

Question: What are some stories that you like to use in your ministry?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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