Every church is full of stories. Stories of individuals who chose to follow Jesus and live in light instead of darkness. Stories of communities changed by the transforming power of love. Stories of hope and faith in the midst of pain and grief.
Churches today have more opportunities than ever before to magnify the powerful, God-glorifying stories that happen in their midst. Whether you share them on your church website, in your church app, on social media, or simply during your service, stories are powerful tools.
But it takes work to find them, and even more work to tell them in meaningful ways.
That’s where a story team comes in. This team of creatives looks for the stories that define, encapsulate, and inspire your church, then shares them with your church and your community through writing, video, or other mediums.
1. They can show people why what you do matters
It’s one thing to objectively explain your church’s mission and vision or cite statistics about your church’s impact on your community. It’s another to share a story. Stories give people tangible examples of your ministry in action, and the actual ways in which people’s lives are changed by the gospel. They contextualize your mission, so that people don’t just see it as an abstract concept.
Take charity:water, for example. It’s easy for people to see the global water crisis as a vast, distant problem they have no power to solve. But charity:water uses the power of story to help people empathize with communities that don’t have access to clean water, see the ramifications of not having access to water, and recognize how they can have a direct impact on the problem.
A story team helps your church paint a picture of what you’re trying to accomplish, and how your ministry makes a difference.
2. They give you a never-ending supply of content
Content marketing is a valuable strategy your church can use to engage, inspire, educate, and encourage your congregation. When you regularly share stories people care about, it gives them more reason to spend time in your app, look forward to your emails, or follow you on social media. These stories can also be used to strategically nurture church visitors and long-time members to a “next best step,” whether that’s simply attending your next service, joining a small group, or something else.
Having a dedicated team to find and distribute stories can make your church app, blog, social media, and email efforts far more effective by giving you a steady stream of opportunities to engage your congregation.
3. They can mobilize your members
By making your ministry’s impact more tangible, stories can rally your congregation around a cause and get them involved. Maybe you need more youth leaders, so you interview some kids who can share about how their youth leader made a difference in their lives. Or you could interview your current leaders and allow people to see that a range of people can serve in this role.
Stories create empathy and give people opportunities to imagine what it would be like to serve. They can also address people’s reservations by highlighting volunteers who are in similar situations.
If you have a story team, they can leverage stories to draw attention to the causes, ministries, events, and opportunities you want your members to get involved in.
4. They can expose your ministry to more people
Well-crafted stories are easy to share. With a story team, you can regularly produce content that resonates beyond your congregation. This is especially true for stories about how your church is making a difference in your community, when you share stories about individuals who are well known outside your church, or if a story is particularly inspiring, thought provoking, or well told.
A story team ensures that your church is making the most of the opportunities you have to talk about your ministry in ways that ripple throughout your community.
5. You can share stories without hiring more staff
Let’s be honest. One of the biggest reasons churches don’t share more stories is capacity. Your staff is already stretched thin, and so is your budget. Even with all the potential benefits of regularly sharing your church’s stories, it can be hard to justify dedicating staff to this task.
But stories are important. And your church likely has talented individuals who would be willing to serve your church in this way. If you grow this team enough, finding and telling stories doesn’t have to be a burden. Maybe a handful of volunteers each write one story a month, for social media, email, or your church blog. You could even divvy up the responsibilities of finding the right stories to tell. And since your ministry teams are regularly exposed to some of your church’s most powerful stories, they can help by bringing them to your story team.
Inspire your church, engage your congregation
The Bible uses stories to reveal what God is like and show us what it means to follow him. Its stories shine light on humanity and illuminate the power of redemption. Your church can use stories too. With a team that seeks these stories out, you can make sure your church maximizes your opportunities to share the gospel and engage your congregation.
Many churches use emails to share their stories but it’s not always easy to craft strong, compelling church emails—emails that actually get read. Get the most out of your stories and the emails you share them through. Download church email best practices in the free ebook, The 7 Deadly Sends of Church Email Marketing, today.