The sharing of story has been a defining practice in our community. We started our church by each person sharing 3 stories from their lives and the community responding with appreciation and curiosity.
Then a year or so later we held a monthly Story Night. We’d have a theme and gather in a home to share personal stories around that theme and – again – respond with appreciation and curiosity.
Now Story Night is going public! On Thursday, July 11th, 7-8pm we are gathering at Books & Brews Noblesville to host our first ever public Story Night. This will be an extension of our practice at The Table, and arises out of our desire to extend the radical love of Jesus Christ in our community. Here’s the Facebook Event Page.
The format will be a bit different from what we’ve done in the past: because of the public setting we will write questions down on notecards and have the host curate them to ask the storytellers. Also, some people who are there will (obviously) not be a part of our church. This will be an experiment of opening up space in our community for people to share and receive, to be seen and known, and to do so in a spirit of curiosity and appreciation.
Here’s what y’all need to know (and what I’d invite you to do):
- The theme is Transitioning: Stories of Loss, Change, and Growth – Will you consider a 7-9 minute story you could share (funny, sad, serious, lighthearted) around this theme? I’d love to have 4-6 people from The Table ready to share stories that night. I’m planning to share about how we’ve transitioned to a ‘dog family’ in last week or so…
- It will be an ‘open mic’ format. We’ll have a host who will set the evening up and then invite people to sign up to share a 7-9 minute story. It’d be good to have a few of us ready to go. 🙂
- We aren’t seeking to Bible/Jesus juke the audience. In other words: don’t feel pressure or the need to make your story sound Christian or Jesusy or have an altar call at the end of it. We are telling these stories in the public square – we want to connect to the essential human experience that everyone can relate to. Assume this will be a pre-christian environment and our goal is to genuinely connect and love people, not slip in the Romans Road at the end so we can consider this an ‘evangelistic event’. 😉
- This is a kid friendly place. There are board games, coloring books, puzzles, etc for the kids to play with and a playground right outside Books & Brews if the weather is nice. Sharon and I plan on bringing Celeste with us. (Oh! And Thursday night is “Kids Eat Free” night as well).
- Please plan to come if you’re able. It’d be great to have a mix of people from The Table and from our community to share in this evening together.
Missionally, we find that our neighborhoods and communities are filled with isolation, loneliness, and the desire to be seen and known. We see this gathering as our attempt to participate in what God is doing, to lay hold of the grace we’ve experienced, to connect and make space for people to come out of hiding, be seen and known, to share who they are in a safe, open environment. The Kingdom of God is made of these kinds of spaces.
Yours in Christ,