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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Story and Good News - Sharing

The human brain thinks in stories. Remember back to the best sermon you've ever heard. What was it that you remember? Most people will key in on a story. Some example that connects and humanizes the message. Jesus loved to teach in stories. Our childhoods are replete with stories. All of which hope to make a point beyond just a simple narrative.

Brains are connection machines. They thrive on making connections between multiple regions. So you have a language center and a visual center and an emotional center. Within those regions you have even more specific areas that deal with, for example, the nouns you use in language and the lines you see and happiness that you feel. Each region of your brain is tiny and can't do much on its own, but when you connect all of the things together into the word, "cake" you create this whole image filled with your context (your story) and emotion. The simple lines on the screen make connections all throughout your brain and fill your head with an image - maybe it's a cake with candles on it as you're about to celebrate your birthday. Maybe it's a wedding cake being cut with your new spouse. Maybe it's the cake that they served at your grandmother's funeral. The simple collection of lines on a page evokes a huge amount of meaning because your brain connects things together.

Stories are connection devices. Stories fit our brains like a key in a lock. Instead of just sharing the facts of something, we share a story. We regale with the saga of our journey to the land of Garage Sale to find the Epic Deal. The facts may be simple, but when we provide all of the connections - emotions, memory, etc. - then our simple Saturday morning becomes a story to share. And retelling the story cements those connection in our brains and in the brains of others. Stories are meant to be shared and re-shared.

Connecting with people is about sharing stories with them, creating space for shared stories and a shared context. Use communication as a tool to connect and share.

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