A COLLECTIVE STORY WORTH TELLING
Romans 12 asks us to do what we believe we have been called to do-well (Romans 12: 6-8). We are to tell the world what God has placed in our heart.
Our ministries vision statement is simply a summary of a collective story.
Whatever our ministries vision, it is what we have been called to do collectively. An organization like your ministry is the sum total of personal Ideas, visions; purpose and direction. It is in fact a microcosm of stories. Because each of our stories has Jesus Christ at the center, there is very much a commonality to our stories. For many secular organizations, much money is spent in trying to discover the commonality of stories to sell a product or service. It is exploitation to discover people’s stories and use it for your stories benefit. But we are called in ministry to join the stories together for common benefit.
In the church, we celebrate the common story of Jesus, but we also get excited about the unique expression of that story in the individuals that have been impacted by His story. Romans 12:4-5 talks about individuals being mingled together with unique gifts.
For a long time, the Church has rightfully told the story of Jesus. Our vision and mission statements were all focused on Jesus. And that’s a good thing. But the internet and social media is now making it possible to tell the story of Jesus and express the individual stories that our collective vision embraces.
Never before has it been needed to have movements that expresses the collective response to our organizations vision.
This process requires us to journey map a person’s navigation of our vision statement. They arrive at your ministry with a desire to engage. At first, they want to know your story. They can discover that story from many sources (Google, Yelp, web, Facebook). You will never know all the people who get to know your story. But you should definitely know about anyone who wants to join their story with yours. There comes a moment when someone looking in on your story starts to feel a desire to contribute their story towards yours-starting a process of a collective story or a vision statement.
At that moment two things happen. The first is that they immediately move from being in discover mode and become engaged. The second Is that they start to drop breadcrumbs that give you an opportunity to discover them back. We have forgotten about making this two-way discovery happen. We only really look up when a community member becomes a partner, starts to give, completes a connect card or arrives at a bible study group. That’s when we consider them engaged. But they have had a far greater desire to engage in the collective story of you vision statement AND at a much higher level, but we sadly have not put in mechanisms to meet them where they were at.
The same is true of moving story participants from being engaged to becoming actively involved in telling the collective story.
When someone is in discovery, they are looking for similarity between your story and theirs; between their dreams and where you vision statement could take them. When someone becomes engaged, they are starting to connect their story to yours.
When they start telling others the combined story, it is them expressing them. We need to pay attention to creating measurable, touchpoints and-respond to them so that stories can be heard and told. We have to intentionally facilitate the story telling power of digital ministry. The most powerful marketing tool you can have in your ministry is having those who have joined their stories to yours, tell your collective story. In the next three sessions we will take a look at how to be deliberate in each of the three stages of story-telling.