Often when I meet someone for the first time I’ll ask, “What’s your story?” What I mean by this question is: “Tell me about yourself. What do you do? Where’s home? Where are you living now? Tell me about your family.”
We all have a story, some good and some bad, but most are somewhere in between.
What I’ve discovered over time is that most people, even the shyest, like sharing their stories, but only bits and pieces of it. We share bits and pieces because, in all of us, there are chapters that make up our larger stories that we’d just rather keep a secret thank you very much.
Another thing I’ve discovered about most people is that they have inkling that life must consist of much more than just them and their story. They feel that, in spite of the perceived importance of their story, there must be something much grander going on and that until that something is discovered, making any sense of their story won’t be realized.
It’s with this in mind that Westside is launching a sermon series this fall called Story. It is more than just a sermon series; it is an overall theme that will weave its way throughout the entire ministry. In this series we’re going to learn more of God’s story by focusing on 12 Old Testament individuals–6 men and 6 women. We will discover how God’s story intersected with theirs and also how it made sense of each of their stories in the process. The paradoxical beauty is that all 12 stories include chapters with things in them that most are so prone to hide, but we will see that it’s these very things that God uses most to reveal who He is, what He wants to do with us and how we fit into the much larger, and more important, story that He is writing.
Accompanying these 12 Old Testament narratives will be 12 video stories of current Westsiders. Not all of the stories have so-called “happy” endings, at least not happy in the way that many define it today, but, instead, the stories show an understanding of how God is journeying with each person and helping them make sense of their journeys along the way.
On top of this we’re asking that each Community Group take time every week to have someone share their story with the rest of the group. This ask comes out of the belief that any pursuit of true and authentic community can’t, and won’t be, achieved until we know each other in ways that go deeper than the surface.
Lastly, Westside wants to come alongside of you to help you get to know more of God’s story and, also, to help you develop the ability to share how God’s story has changed yours. Stay tuned for three upcoming Sunday afternoon classes that will be set aside for this training.
We’re over the top excited and expectant for the Story series and its launch on September 14th. We pray that it is not only informative but also life changing and strengthening as we seek to make sense of the ongoing story God is writing and how we fit into it.
Norm Funk is the Lead Pastor at Westside Church and has a heart for the city of Vancouver. He is married to Nicole and they have two fantastic boys.