A Ministry of Make and Deepen Disciples

Why Story Matters

Jesus was the master story teller. He used stories to reflect truth and to provide a window into what God cares about. Stories were also used by Jesus to bring about change in the way we interact with each other, with the hope we would develop an intimate relationship with God and fulfill God’s will in the world.

Jesus also invited others like the Samaritan woman, Zacheaus, and his disciples to share their reflections and stories. In the same way, our stories and our lives with Jesus help us to grow in our faith individually and as a body. Even more importantly, they can impact others in unforeseen ways that may help them come to faith and grow in faith.

Sadly, we have been remiss at sharing our individual stories with Jesus on a regular basis and helping children reflect, develop, and share their story. By sharing ours, we help children to think about their own story with God.

Children get excited when they are given the time to consider their story with God. There is a sudden realization that they have a story with God, one worth sharing. Further, it’s not a one and done event. Every day God is writing new chapters in our lives. So, we need to provide ongoing space for children to add to their story.

Here are 7 ways to helping children reflect and develop their story with God.

  1. Provide ongoing space in worship for persons of all ages to share their stories. Children like a good story and it can impact their faith.
  2. Individual story sharing should be short. Share a chapter, not the whole book.
  3. It’s often easier for children to begin exploring their story using tactile kinesthetic elements such as playdough, paints, and markers.
  4. Let children know their story with God will have good parts and hard parts. Celebration and struggle.
  5. Video or write down the story for children as they share their creations.
  6. Give opportunity for children to share weekly within children’s ministry as well as regular opportunities to share in worship.
  7. Encourage families to share their story with God daily. God is present in every aspect of our lives, we just fail to notice and include God in our daily stories.

Jesus greatest stories shared the reality of who he is, what he had come for, and the invitation to enter into an eternal relationship with us. In the same way, the greatest stories of our children are their stories with God.  However, we can’t expect them to share their stories with others if we don’t give time and space for them to reflect and develop their story at church and at home. The sharing of story, stories that could impact the world for Jesus, should become as regular as our times of prayer.

Steve Burger

Steve is the Director of Children, Family and Intergenerational Ministries for the Evangelical Covenant Church. He has served churches in New York and Minnesota with his wife Marti, prior to serving in his present position. Their daughter Melissa Wall serves as Pastor of Deer Grove Covenant Church, Palatine, IL, son-in-law, Fredrik serves in the ECC Denominational Offices, and their son Paul and his wife Britta are pastors at Bethany Covenant Church in Mt Vernon, WA. Steve can recall moments from infancy and feels closest to God when he is with children. He is committed to supporting and partnering with those who minister with children, families and intergenerational communities of faith.

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