Mastering God's Story

Posted by Laura Rendall | Published July 7, 2015

Mastering God's Story

When 30th street was first planted, they had a discussion about “The Story” series that Jeff Reed has been taking our network through on Sunday mornings. Caleb Keller was surprised to find that most people didn’t feel like they knew the Story well at all. Caleb decided to fix this. He says, “I decided to take a portion of our meeting every week to teach through the major parts of God’s story. I broke it down into eight ‘stepping stones’: major ideas that would organize people’s thinking about the Story, like ‘Creation and Fall’ and ‘Call of Abraham.'”

Each week Caleb taught one of the stepping stone ideas and helped the group to dialogue about it. Then he assigned one person to review that idea in church the next week. They were given passages to read so that they could communicate the major idea in their own words. Caleb explains, “Some weeks the teaching and discussion would be very brief, and we would turn our meeting to other things. Some weeks we would discuss the ideas at length, especially if people were unfamiliar with one of the ideas, like how Jesus represented the promise of a perpetual king from David’s lineage.”

After the initial eight weeks of teaching through the stepping stones, 30th Street Church turned to review mode. Every week someone was responsible to review  the next stepping stone. Caleb says, “Sometimes they would struggle to articulate the idea fully, and then the rest of the group would fill in some of the parts they were missing. This meant that all of our people were helping each other to learn and master the principles.”

The effect of doing this study has been tremendous for 30th Street Church. “Our people are really growing in their ability to think in an integrated way about all of the stories and narratives of the Bible” says Caleb. “Rather than thinking about individual stories in a disconnected way, they are beginning to see how everything fits together. Most of them are able, either from memory or with a little prompting, to summarize the major points of God’s story from the creation of the world, through God’s work with Israel, to the appearing of Jesus, to God’s eventual victory and remaking of the world. It’s very encouraging to me to see the growth that has taken place!”

Thomas Berg describes 30th Street Church’s experience studying The Story, “With doing a study of The Story in our church, it has allowed us to unpack more of the details of the Story so everyone can gain a better understanding. This is regardless of where each of us was in our understanding before. In our small group it enables us to ask questions, take extra time when necessary, and even repeat to further our ability and ingrain the story in our mindset. With The Story serving as a baseline of understanding, it gives us common ground as a church to build off of. In any other study of Scripture we do, we can tie it all back into how it is a part of a larger unfolding story. It has been a great way to help us all grow in our understanding of Scripture as a whole.”

Posted In Teaching