A story about stories and the death of meta narrative

A story about stories and the death of meta narrative

A while back to look cool you just had to put the prefix “meta” in front of things or use the word “disruptive” in your first sentence.
So if you said something like, “The missional meta-narrative was disruptive to the established religious paradigms” then folks in the know would sagely nod and stroke their chins as if you had actually said something meaningful.
That was ancient analysis from 2014. Now the paradigm shift is paradigm shifting… or what ever it as that a paradigm does when it… shifts.
Anyhoo…. the point I am wandering towards is this. Our stories are important. But so also is the story about our stories. I grew up within a church that worked hard to build their identity and never really got over the fact that for most of its later life that very sense identity didn’t match the reality of many of its participants. There were lots of stories of how the Sunday school out grew several buildings, of busloads of people taken on church picnics, of work days to erect the new building. There were little history’s of how different ministers approached their work. Of those loved and resisted. Of quirks and peccadilloes and idiosyncrasies galore. In short. It was a church that lived a life and remembered its beginnings.
But that life was lived back then. And the stories of that life, while important for those who were part of them, didn’t always mean a lot to those of us who came later.
So MY story of the church that formed me is that it was out of step for much of its life. This didn’t stop me from feeling nurtured, encouraged and loved by the people there. But it did mean that very few of us who grew up there as young people remain connected with the church. We remember the stories of challenge and faith. But they weren’t our stories.
We had to make new stories of our own. And we did. And we continue to.