Listen to today’s devo!

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. (Mark 4:33)

My husband and I have led and been a part of many small groups over the years. Our early sessions together are always the same: “Share about three important people, places, and events that have impacted you.” We may have entered the host’s home or that classroom as strangers, but by the time our sharing is through, some are teary-eyed, several are chatting about similar backgrounds, and a level of trust has been established, just because of our stories.

Jesus was the master storyteller, the parable-giver par excellence. Stories were the most effective way of teaching both the outsiders and his insider-disciples. And while not everyone understood every parable Jesus told, he continued to teach them using stories, which were remembered and chewed on, and often initiated a mind-set change.

Perhaps that is why when we want to convey a principle or grab our listeners’ attention so that they remember long after our talk is done, we don’t give them bullet points. We tell a story. Stories grab hearts. They make us think and grapple with questions, emotions, and motives that aren’t always easily accessible, that often we want to deny. Stories bind us together, and as we wade through the storyline afterward with other hearers, we wade into deep waters, often coming closer to understanding the ways of our Savior and how he offers us his transformed life.

When offered the opportunity to connect with someone, share stories.

Jamie Hilty is a Wesleyan pastor’s kid. She currently serves with her pastor-husband in Goshen, Indiana, and has served as a contributing writer for Annesley Writer’s Forum.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.