Yet MORE Let Me Tell You A Story: Going Beyond Bullet Points

I have been reading the gospels with story in mind, and have found that Yeshua was not a 21st century Western change agent/persuader.  We in our culture like to get to the bottom line, reducing conversations to bullet points.  Yeshua never got the memo, nor did almost all non-Western cultures. Yeshua tells stories, or uses metaphors that require of his listeners to put things together in their own minds: the meaning is not handed them on a silver platter, but must be assembled by their applying themselves to the task of discerning the meaning behind his metaphor, story, or parable.  This is very much like good theater . . . and bad. Bad theater gives you everything on a platter, telling you the meaning of everything. Yawn, or perhaps even, retch! Good theater causes you to assemble meaning in your own mind, and when that happens, not only are you drawn in, you are indelibly affected.

Annette Simmons reminds us that “a story develops and grows in the mind of your listener.  If it is a good story, you don’t have to keep it alive by yourself. It is automatically retold or replayed in the minds of your listeners. Story hels you touch whatever lives inside them that knows truth when they see it, wants to see the bigger picture, and wants to do the right thing.” I strongly suggest that in each witnessing encounter, we should endeavor to leave people with a resonant memory, often in the form of story, for people will remember stories for decades, and forget your bullet points before their next meal.

If you will examine your own experience you will find this to be true—stories stick with you, like jingles. Anyone of my generation can complete the sentence, “You get a lot to like with a Marlboro. . .” because of the jingle it was imbedded in, and no one can forget scenes, and even dialogue from significant movies.  Stories, like jingles, make messages and even profound truths indelible.   That’s why good cinema and theater are so powerful and resonant. Their stories, and the impact of those stories, becomes part of us, and truly unforgettable.

After many years my own appetite has increased for intriguing people with the possibilities of life with God and how Yeshua-faith can be a major catalyst for a surround sound, 3-D, full color relationship with the Holy One.

The question for me, and for all of us is this: what will it be?  Bullet points or stories of life with God?

What’s your answer?

Let Annette Simmons help you make up your mind. Think about this!

Most of the time, you won’t be present when the people you want to influence make the decisions, choose the behaviors you were hoping to influence. Or both. You don’t have much, if any, formal authority over them and you cannot easily predict the specifics of the situation in which they might find themselves, so how do you get them to do what you want? Story is like mental software that you supply so your listener can run it again later. . . . Once installed, a good story replays itself and continues to process [a] new experience through a filter, channeling future experiences toward the perceptions and choices you desire.

Story doesn’t tell people what to do but it can powerfully influence what they think about as they make their own choices. . . . The best stories play over and over and create the outcomes that fit your goals and ensure that the person you influence (in absentia) is happy with their new choices (Annette Simmons, The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling).

About Stuart Dauermann

The blog of Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann, teacher, mentor, radio talk show host, denizen of Los Angeles, and a visionary with a long career in Messianic Jewish activism. You can hear Rabbi Dauermann as he hosts Shalom Talk, a weekly radio show, and even listen online at Rabbi Dauermann spends time traveling nationally and internationally, and throughout the year is in Israel as a Scholar in Residence at the MJTI Jerusalem Center. He has plenty to say about Jewish-Christian relations, the need for shalom in the world, and the agenda of Messiah, the Son of David.
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1 Response to Yet MORE Let Me Tell You A Story: Going Beyond Bullet Points

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