Mildred shared a “God story” in Bible class, because, for five weeks, I simply asked, “Before we pray, anyone want to share what God has done in your life this past week?”
- Mildred didn’t know the terminology, “God story.”
- She didn’t realize she was an “early adopter” in a movement that would transform our congregation.
- She had no clue this would eventually grow our church to five times its size in a few short years.
Before moving on, think about changing culture: not by preaching at people, or shoving yet another program down the throats of a group of Christians who are already too busy with church stuff.
- It was just a question: a powerful way to change culture: “Anyone want to share what God has done in your life…?”
- The words for this approach are: “Interrogative influence.” It is influencing by asking questions.
- You may remember, Jesus used interrogative influence. Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Then He asked, “Who do you say I am?” Jesus built Kingdom culture by, among other approaches, asking questions.
Remember, in the parable of the Good Samaritan story? There was a question: “So who do you think was neighbor to the man who fell among thieves?” Interrogative influence!
So, back to Mildred: Mildred was the first one to respond to my question in Bible class.
- I doubt anyone noticed a dramatic cultural change in our church that occurred with her, unrehearsed, not so smooth, powerful story, which she shared from her heart. It was profound!
- On God’s calendar, (not the church’s), that day marked the beginning of a movement.
- There was no flash of lightening, no big deal. Mildred was the only one to respond that week. Yet, she, and God, launched a movement that very Sunday.
- It was the beginning of a movement of witnessing.
So what happened next?
- The following week, no one had a story to share.
- The following week after that, however, two people shared stories.
- After seven months, I had to cut off the sharing at fifteen minutes so we would have time for prayer and the teaching lesson!
Soon, I began to ask for God stories elsewhere around church:
- Elders meetings
- Congregational meetings
- Church council meetings
- Everywhere our people gathered, except for worship.
What do you think happened next?
- That’s the most important chapter of the movement.
- We’ll look at that tomorrow.