How Storytelling Transforms the Lives of Families

Hear about how this church made the decision to engage family ministry with their congregation.
3 min read

I want to share with you an exciting example of storytelling, as we’re seeing it played out in our church here in Ontario, Canada.

A year and a half ago our leadership made a decision to engage family ministry at a whole-church level. Not simply in a specific department or on certain days of the week or even certain times of the year, but in every aspect of the ways in which we do church.

And, of course, what this included was a transformation of the way we teach Scripture—bringing it more in link with the way we teach it to kids which is this idea of The Big God Story. God’s grand redemptive narrative.

And so we took this known principal of how we’ve been teaching kids and applied it to our whole church context. Especially how we teach our adults. And the fruit has been amazing.

They’ve been going to church their whole lives, but for the first time they were understanding Scripture as one story.

The Fruit of Teaching The Big God Story

Several weeks ago one of our small groups was studying Spiritual Parenting and arrived at the chapter on storytelling. And as the facilitator asked folks, “What did you encounter in this chapter, what did you find?” they learned that a number of people said, “Well, actually, we skimmed it.”

Now, you might be wondering why this is a story of health, why I share this as good example. What the leader discovered was the reason they skimmed it was because they knew it.

They began to read this chapter that so beautifully illustrates and spells out the entire arch of Scripture, and these families were going, “Right. We know this. This has been taught to us.”

adults ands children sitting on the floor in a circle
Image Credit: Hero Images/Getty Images

It’s an On-Going Process

Part of The Big God Story is these summary points throughout the year. Not only do you teach it over the entire year, but at the beginning of the year you provide a snapshot of what the whole thing looks like.

At Christmas we wrap it all up—we had built up the entire arch to the arrival of Jesus. At Easter, we summarize how it all fits. Our families are getting the whole arch of Scripture multiple times a year, and it is known to them.

One of these folks came up to my colleague and I and shared with us how they’ve been going to church their whole lives, but for the first time they were understanding Scripture as one story. Not a random collection but one arch, one beautiful, evolving story of God’s work to redeem His people, to redeem His creation and that they understood their place in it.

It wasn’t about God’s story as a standalone story and then our story happening thousands of years later. It was God’s story that is still happening and that their family is a part of that. This is now a part of how they see their family.

What more can you ask for? Storytelling transforms families.

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Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
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7 Ways to Encourage Today's Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home cover

Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
Free Guide
7 Ways to Encourage Today's Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home cover

Ready to help parents create an environment for spiritual growth?

Get ready to help families with their most important task, in our guide from Ministry Spark: 7 Ways to Encourage Today’s Parents as Spiritual Influencers at Home.
Free Guide
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  Updated on October 12, 2022

About the Author

Post Author
  • Alex Douglas is the Lead Pastor and co-replanter of the Family Church of Heritage Green - an unapologetically family-focused church in Ontario, Canada. For over a decade Alex has been on the frontline of the family ministry movement in North America using his unique blend of art, storytelling, and humor to tell God’s story. From May to August of this year Alex was on a doctor-mandated mental health leave during which God reminded him daily of the indispensable nature of soul care. Alex and his wife Kathryn are the proud parents to 4 amazing kids and he will gladly talk your ear off about hockey if given the opportunity.

  • Your Ministry Spark Team is made of ministry volunteers, leaders, and experts who work with David C Cook. We’re passionate about helping others know, love, and follow Jesus. And, we have a big heart for those who serve the kingdom—that’s you. Together, we can do this!

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