We all have stories from our lives that are unique to us. Sharing our stories is like sharing part of ourselves with others and it creates a level of intimacy between us that deepens our relationships with each other. In the Bible and in human history, we see God working out a bigger story that we get to be a part of through the gospel. When we share our stories of connection to God’s great story through the gospel, it creates a spiritual intimacy and depth in our relationships, and helps us to see that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Sharing our stories helps us connect IN.
It also helps us connect UP. It is clear that through the church God uses us to speak to each other. So as we share our stories we are connecting with God as His work among us is clarified and our individual faith is strengthened by the testimony of someone else's faith.
Celebrations is a spiritual discipline that we choose to engage to make known the work that God has done and to magnify how great God is. When we celebrate what God has done in us and through us it pushes us UP together.
Additionally, there’s a helpful leadership principle that says, “You duplicate what you celebrate.” The things that we celebrate educate our church and our Villages about what we find most important and helps give direction for future decisions and actions in the Village. So if a Village is celebrating someone becoming a Christian, it encourages the Village to pursue seeing others come to Christ. In this, a story and celebration night can be a catalyst to pushing a Village OUT.
- Have each of the Village Leaders share their story of coming to Christ and their spiritual growth and transformation while in college (or while in the stage of life that connects with the Village). This sets an example of what it looks like to share a story in Village and helps the Village get to know their leaders better.
- Invite two or three people from your Village to share their story of coming to Christ or of a significant spiritual transformation they have gone through recently. After they share, open it up to others to ask questions or to share their own experiences that are connected to what they heard from the storytellers. Specific time will need to be set aside in advance to help the storytellers practice and prepare to share their story with the Village. (When someone is getting baptised, sharing their story with the Village will be a prerequisite for shooting their baptism video).
- When you have a new person come to Christ who is connected to the Village, throw them a new-birthday party where they share their story about coming to faith in Christ and the role that others played in sharing the gospel with them.
- Many people in your Village may go on a mission trip. When they get back, have them share their story of what they did and what they saw God do while on their trip. Also, have them cast vision and offer an invitation to future Resonate Mission trips.