“Americans are not used to taking stories seriously as a way to deepen our participation in communities where we live and as a way to expand our participation in what God is doing. The language we are taught in our schools is language as information: naming and explaining. We are also taught language for getting things done: making things, solving problems, going to the moon.” (p. 128, The Pastor)
Peterson clarifies that this is an important way to look at the world – but not the only perspective. He continues, “But language as participation? Language as a means of relationship? Language that involves us with other people? Language that deepens our capacities for community? Language that forms [people who attend] into a church?” (p.128 The Pastor)
What does Peterson mean and how does that look?
Truth be told, not everyone enters into the story of our community at NSC. And without entry into the story, these folks don’t tend to stick it out and hang around. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a thing. We are not everyone’s cup of tea, nor do we try to be. But the people that stick seem to have one thing in common: they listen to and tell one another stories. They participate.
We foster this environment by having a very participatory worship experience. People ask questions, make comments, tell their own stories as illustrative to a preaching point and occasionally take us down rabbit trails that appear to have NOTHING to do with what the speaker is talking about. This is good stuff.
Tomorrow, I will illustrate a reason why I am so committed to a church community where we live with nothing hidden – even if it is sometimes painful to do so.
We are intentional in this open way of preaching, because we believe this is a way we model listening to and telling one another stories. It’s a way to combat secretive living.