As a kid did you have a favorite story? Maybe a family story handed down from your parents about the way they grew up or about your family’s homeland. Maybe it’s a fairy tale or fable. Maybe it’s a book that shaped that childhood. Share with the group. What did you love about it? Did that story affect the person you grew up to be?
Humans love stories. What is it about a story that so moves us? Why do you like stories? What are your favorite kinds of stories? What do you like so much about that kind?
In an article about family storytelling from The Atlantic magazine Elaine Reese writes,
“In the preteen years, children whose families collaboratively discuss everyday events and family history more often have higher self-esteem and stronger self-concepts. And adolescents with a stronger knowledge of family history have more robust identities, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Family storytelling can help a child grow into a teen who feels connected to the important people in her life.”
Do stories make you feel more connected to the people who tell them? To the people with whom you hear them? If so, how so? Give an example of a story that made you feel connected to someone else.
Do you have stories that make you feel more connected to God? Think of one story (that makes you feel closer to God) in each of the following story categories:
A story told by a friend or family member
A story in your Bible
A story you heard at church (in a sermon, in Bible class, in a video, in a testimony...)
What do those stories teach you about who God is and how He acts?
Read Psalm 107 together as a group. Identify the stories with in this Psalm. What are they about? Why is the Psalmist telling these stories?
You have stories about God. In fact, your entire relationship with God IS a story. Have you ever written down a part of your story? Do you find yourself sharing your story often? How does it feel to tell it? What do you think you could to do to be more proactive about telling the story God’s writing in you?
What’s your story with God about? If group members struggle with this, encourage them to spend some time in reflection and prayer.
We said on Sunday that when one person shares a story about their encounter with God, “One person’s experience with God becoming the community’s worship to God.” How have other people’s stories pointed you to God? Share an example.
As a group, write a story Psalm about what God’s been doing in your small group. Write down the victories you’ve shared together over the years. Write about the moments you saw God work. Write about your collective struggles. Because it’s hard to write a PSalm together, let this Psalm just be a list of moments you’ve shared.
If your group is new, this activity probably won’t work for you. Instead, your group should spend time sharing personal stories of faith to get to know one another better. Perhaps you’ll use this prompt: Once, I saw God work powerfully…