In March of 2013, I found myself in a conference room surrounded by strangers. As we sat together, I noticed that most in the room were staying to themselves and felt uncomfortable striking up new conversations. I too was staying to myself as I pondered how much I would be stretched over the next thirteen weeks. I have always struggled to interact with people I do not know and had determined it was time to face my fear head on. I enrolled in a Dale Carnegie Training Course.
One of the first exercises for the class was to introduce ourselves and then remember each name. By week three, we were sharing amazing, life defining stories. By week 12, we shared stories that would bring many to tears…remembering names, sharing stories, hearing from the heart, building confidence, and changing lives. Most of my colleagues were from the business world. I was a youth pastor with an amazing (although not new) idea. I believed the world would change if every Christ Follower would care enough to remember names and care enough to share their stories. I also believed every Christ Follower would have deep compassion if they would just listen to the stories of those who do not yet know God. One of my most anticipated ambitions for The Table is for conversations to take place. This is why we set aside a time nearly every week so that each story will be told and each story will be heard.
Is your story missing from ours? If you attend our weekly gathering, let me encourage you to speak up when it is time to share. The only way true community will form is when life stories are both told and heard. Take the risk. Tell your stories.
With sincere love for each of you,