We are talking more about ‘the narrative’ these days. For example, we are preparing to develop a vocational narrative as a way of helping those in training for ministry to have a deep understanding of the church in which they will serve.
And I’ve been doing my bit on this for a while. Most recently I set out my current version at our Welcome Day for those who are beginning in authorised ministry in our church. There were 22 of them – and there is real encouragement in connecting with their energy and enthusiasm.
The narrative basically is a version of the story of where we have come from – where we think we are heading for and how we think we are going to get there. Put God in the narrative and it becomes a faith story.
It’s always been important for me. When I came to Scotland – eleven years ago now – I spent the first couple of years looking at what I saw in front of me. I would then say to somebody, ‘This is what I see and this is how I think I understand it. Is that correct?’ People were never less than patient and helpful. But of course sometimes what I was asking about was what they took for granted. So they didn’t quite know how to help me
I’m still doing that and still learning the story of this remarkable church ..