The Power of Storytelling: Marketplace Stories Set the Stage for God to Act

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Our team is always looking for stories of God working in the lives of marketplace professionals. We all love missionary stories of how God penetrates hearts as the Gospel transforms lives, and sometimes whole cultures. We are now seeing the same kinds of stories in a different marketplace--a missional marketplace where each of us can find ourselves.
Stories breathe life into the seemingly mundane nature of day-to-day work. Through stories, we discover, again and again, that there is nothing mundane or incidental, about the order of things and how God weaves His purposes throughout our lives, times, and workplaces.
David Platt, new president of the International Mission Board, and (until just this month) Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, understands the importance of stories. As we received the news of David becoming our president, turning our sorrow (at the retirement of Dr. Tom Elliff) into joy, the Brook Hills family would also receive the news with mixed emotions.
I am not surprised that David used stories as his platform for taking his church through the journey of God calling him to this new position.
After all, stories:
-Give Context. In talking to the church about his decision, Platt put it in the context of his life in recent months and years. He reminded them of his mission trip to Nepal in February, and how that trip had stayed at the forefront of his thinking ever since.
-Personalize another’s experience. He explained how The Church at Brook Hills had prayed and reasoned together, always laying their lives before God as “a blank check”. Stories give others the opportunity to put a face on what God is doing (and can do) through any one of us.
-Affirm how God is speaking to us. Just as God was calling David Platt from one place to another, He can move in our hearts to do likewise. A story of one marketplace professional taking a job with his company overseas might spark the same idea in you. There’s no better or best in God’s will for us (no second or third-rung purposes). God has called us all.
-Stir up hope, expectancy and confidence. In David’s talk with his church, he laid out how God had gradually given him understanding about the next steps he was to take. Our stories can have such an impact on those around us!
-Help us see our own stories, with His Story at the center. Examine your life for the imprint of God’s stories developing in you.
“I didn’t go looking for this; constrained by the Spirit, I received this,” David Platt told his church. “It’s with deep sorrow and sense of loss that I think about not pastoring these people whom I love...yet [I have] deep resolve to spend my life wherever, however He leads, to see the Gospel go to unreached people…Our life is His to spend however He wants; we surrender everything."
This story is by Abby Wallace. It originally appeared on the blog for Marketplace Advance, an outreach of the International Mission Board and was submitted as part of our Power of Storytelling community linkup.