In my college years, during a rather boring business leadership presentation, I learned an unexpected lesson. The presenter had nearly lulled everyone to sleep with his lecture when suddenly he said, “For example, this one time I…” Just then, the entire room simultaneously raised their drooping heads and focused their eager attention upon that onceboring lecturer. He had suddenly, in a moment, transformed from an irrelevancy in the room to a magnet of interest. The reason for the sudden interest change is simple: he was storytelling, and we are made for stories. Humans have always enjoyed this primal tendency to retell stories; we crave them and cannot have our fill of them. In that moment, it suddenly made sense that our ancient ancestors gathered around fires not merely for warmth, and that children never tire of asking grandpa for stories. In that unexpected moment of storytelling from that boring lecturer, I finally saw that storytelling is essential to effective communication.
Now think of our role as Christians. How exactly do we preach the gospel? It is storytelling. We do what God did, who made himself incarnate; we must make God not an abstract idea, but something visible and concrete. In this way, we are called to be sacramental, like the sacraments which hold God’s invisible realities in visible signs. So tell the greatest story there is, namely the story of salvation. Tell others about how you fit into that story and how God has tied up the salvation of the world with your vocation.
If Christianity is not an adventurous and exciting story for us, then we have not opened our eyes. God is narrating a great story, and we are the characters. He constantly beckons us to himself, and he ceaselessly invites us to sacrificial heroism. Tell others about how he invited you, how you responded. Tell them how Jesus is saving you everyday, and how you rely upon him for strength. Then tell them about the profound story you live now.