“All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.” (Matthew 13:34 ESV)
I have always loved stories. Stories are told through music, literature, biographies, and in many other ways. I teach children’s literature in our college’s education department, and my favorite genre is historical fiction. I love how it connects fictional characters and fictional scenes to create an exciting story that, for the most part, authentically reflects history. Even events such as the Olympics or the Super Bowl include the stories of the athletes and their families.
Jesus used parables extensively to teach the principles and truths He wanted his audience to grasp. Matthew 13:34 states that Jesus said nothing to His audience without a parable. Since the beginning of time, stories have been a powerful communication tool. Jesus provided us with the example of telling stories to share the gospel’s good news. He used the common person’s language while sharing captivating stories to influence His audience. Mark 1:14 tells us that after John the Baptist was arrested that “Jesus came . . . proclaiming the gospel of God“(ESV).
We, as Christ-followers, have the opportunity to tell our story by our words and our deeds. In his practical letter to the church, James states that we should place importance on what we do and what we say. Both actions work together to tell our story to those watching and listening. Jesus never missed an opportunity to share a story that could change a life. As ambassadors for Christ, we have that same opportunity to share our story in both our walk and our talk. Stories attract attention, stories stir emotions, and stories help us remember.
What story are you telling with your actions? Does your life lead people to Christ or away from Christ? Is your family motivated to follow Christ because of the story that you live before them? As a library leader, does your work ethic motivate your employees to be like Christ? Do you lead and serve others like Christ in the course of your library work? Christian library leaders should lead differently; the light of Christ should shine through them. Throughout the teachings of Jesus, He emphasized the greatest leaders are those with a servant’s heart. The Bible strongly rejects a pseudo-faith and encourages followers of Christ to demonstrate their faith by works, let their lights shine, and keep the commandments of Christ. As Christians, we must look to Jesus, our primary example. He never missed an opportunity to tell a story and influence those around Him. Christian brothers and sisters, tell your life-changing story to a world that so desperately needs to hear it
Jon is the Director of Library & Academic Services at Baptist Bible College & Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO. He has been an ACL since 2011.