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The Power of Story

by Ron Hawkins • Published December 24, 2019

Years ago I was covering for a pastor in a small Indiana town. I had been asked to officiate a gravesite service for a parishioner’s elderly aunt in Argos, an even smaller town, and I followed the directions as given (cell phones had not gone mainstream and Google maps would not exists for another eight years).

The directions seemed off, but because I grew up in the area, I figured it out, arriving with a half hour to spare. I was surprised no one was there, not even cemetery staff. Must be a laid-back group, I thought. Fifteen minutes went by. No one. Twenty minutes. Twenty-five. When it was five minutes past the appointed time of service, I finally drove to a pay phone and connected with the funeral director, who asked, “Where exactly are you now?”

I gave her the cross streets of my location in Argos. “Argos?” she gasped. “The service is in Akron!”

I felt horrible—embarrassed, humbled, humiliated. Can you relate?

Stories are often what connects us. We can chuckle over our mishaps and lament over our errors. Jesus was a master storyteller—He knew that we would hear and understand truths in new ways when told through the lens of a story.

One of the powerful gifts of a church community is sharing with transparency and vulnerability how our lives are impacted when we come to faith, when we experience how knowing Jesus changes us and transforms us. And that is what we share in this month’s issue of CPC Life: everyday people, sharing how they have encountered Christ Jesus and what that means for them.

Our hope is that as you read the stories in this issue, you will be encouraged and inspired—but also that you might reflect on how God has worked in your own life. And if you are wondering what Jesus is all about and what trusting in Him means, we invite you to come back and worship with us so that you might come to know His great love for you!

Ron Hawkins served as Transition Pastor at CPC from 2019-2020.