telling stories

By April 19, 2012Leadership, Preaching

As a young preacher, I learned one important truth: people will forget your main points but they will remember your stories.  In fact, I’ve become convinced that I could preach the same points multiple times and people wouldn’t notice — but tell the same story and it’s immediately familiar!

That’s the power of a story.  Are you harnessing the power of stories?

If you are a communicator, stories are your best friend.  They take your main point from grayscale to full color.  Stories do more than fill space: they motivate, inspire, challenge, and create memories that become portable.  A well-told story is a gift to your listeners.  It allows them to say in a different time and place, “That reminds me of a story.”

If you are a leader, stories become the glue that holds a vision together.  “Do you remember when …” is the beginning of a story that reminds teammates of a time when the vision came alive, was threatened, or moved forward.  Good leaders are good story tellers.  And here’s the good thing: you don’t have to create the stories.  Many of the best stories come directly from the front lines.  Your job is to gather and retell them.

If you are a mom or dad, family stories are what create a sense of belonging, a sense of rootedness.  Family stories reinforce family values.  While you could sit them down on the couch and lecture them about work ethic (good luck with that), a story about grandpa might serve you better.

Everyone loves a good story.

How are you using stories?