Friday, March 15, 2024

Restory Church: Jesus Culture - Lay-Led Storytelling

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In the pages of the Gospels, we encounter a profound example of storytelling and grassroots community-building. Jesus, the ultimate disciple-maker, walked the dusty roads of Palestine, engaging with people from all walks of life through parables, miracles, and intimate conversations. As we delve into his life and ministry, we uncover a treasure trove of wisdom that illuminates our path towards a Restory Church—a community rooted in the storytelling culture and lay-led structure exemplified by Jesus himself.

The Power of Parables

Throughout his ministry, Jesus used parables to convey deep spiritual truths in a way that resonated with his audience. These simple yet profound stories served as mirrors reflecting the everyday experiences of his listeners while challenging them to consider the deeper implications of his teachings.

Take, for example, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this timeless story, Jesus challenges societal norms and prejudices by portraying a despised Samaritan as the hero who demonstrates true compassion and neighbourly love. Through this narrative, Jesus not only teaches the essence of loving one's neighbour but also models a radical inclusivity that transcends cultural barriers—a lesson that remains as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago.

Empowering Disciple-Makers

Central to Jesus' ministry was the training and equipping of his disciples to become disciple-makers themselves. Unlike the hierarchical structures of religious leadership prevalent in his time, Jesus embraced a lay-led approach, empowering ordinary men and women to carry forth the message of the Kingdom.

Consider the calling of the first disciples by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus did not recruit scholars or religious elites but rather fishermen and tax collectors—individuals deeply rooted in their communities and familiar with the rhythms of everyday life. Through intentional mentoring, storytelling, and shared experiences, Jesus transformed these humble street people into bold proclaimers of the Gospel, laying the foundation for a decentralized and lay-led movement that spread like wildfire across the ancient world and into today.

Mentoring and Community Building

In addition to his public ministry, Jesus engaged in intimate mentoring relationships with his disciples, inviting them into a deeper understanding of his teachings and mission. Whether sharing meals, walking together on the road, or withdrawing to pray in solitude, Jesus modelled a relational approach to leadership that prioritized authenticity, vulnerability, and mutual support.

One such poignant example is found in Jesus' interactions with Peter. Despite Peter's flaws and failures, Jesus continually invested in him, challenging him to rise above his limitations and lead by example rather than bravado. Through moments of correction, affirmation, and restoration, Jesus demonstrated the transformative power of mentoring within the context of a loving and supportive community.

Towards a Restory Church

As we reflect on the life and ministry of Jesus, let us reimagine the church not as a rigid institution but as a dynamic and inclusive community grounded in the principles of storytelling, disciple-making, and lay-led leadership. A Restory Church embraces the storytelling culture of Jesus, recognizing the power of narrative to bridge divides, challenge assumptions, and inspire transformation.

Furthermore, a Restory Church nurtures a culture of grassroots leadership, where every member is empowered to become a disciple-maker and agent of change within their sphere of influence. By fostering mentoring relationships, sharing stories of faith and transformation, and embracing the diversity of gifts and perspectives within the community, we pave the way for a church that is truly reflective of the Kingdom of God—a diverse tapestry of individuals united in love, purpose and mission.

Walking like Jesus

It's time to embody the lay-led grassroots community structure exemplified by Jesus, the ultimate storyteller and disciple-maker. As we walk in his footsteps, may we become catalysts for renewal and transformation, sharing the timeless message of hope, grace, and redemption with a world in desperate need of Good News.


How does storytelling and disciple-making feature in your following Jesus?

How does Jesus' focus on the grassroots community help you?

Please read the other Restory Church Posts and then comment on what you think of the “Restory Church” concept? How does it help?

Please write in the comment section or email me at

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