What the Church Can Learn about Storytelling from The Boss
Tonight I am going to see “The Boss.” Yes, I know, the bumper sticker tells me, “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter.” But tonight, I am going to see THE Boss – Bruce Springsteen. It’s been on my bucket list for years and I stood, all by myself, for two hours at the local Safeway to score tickets (I clearly did not get the memo that Springsteen fans sleep in). Those Safeway people sure are perky at 8am!
Bruce, and I can call him Bruce because we are great friends, is known as the consummate storyteller through song. What can you learn about telling your church’s story from The Boss?
Be authentic. Bruce sings about what he knows, where’s he’s come from, and his experiences. Even if you don’t agree with his politics, after hearing him you don’t ever question his integrity.
Be passionate. Springsteen’s voice oozes with grit and passion. You know he believes deeply, you can hear the angst, fervor, hurt, and love in his voice and through his lyrics.
Be energetic. The Boss’ concerts are legendary events. Here’s a 63 year-old guy who can still rock the hall for over three hours. May we all be so full of life.
Be relevant. Bruce has been at this for over three decades. He could have hung up his guitar years ago and been satisfied with landing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. But, he had more to say and new generations to influence. Let’s hope the church still feels the same.
P.S. Don’t forget my offer from last week: If you send me your Christmas appeal letter (which you all should be working hard on by now), I will be happy to take a look at it and give you some feedback. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's the link to The Art of Writing Your Christmas Appeal.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.