I am currently reading Theology For The Community of God by Stan Grenz for my Systematic Theology class in Grad School. This book is simply brilliant. In it, Grenz says:
"Narrative theologians rightly point out that the revealed truth of God, which comes to us fundamentally in the narrative of God's actions in the world, forms the "basic grammar" that creates Christian identity. Truth establishes who we are--Christians, God's children. Rather than merely being a product of our experience, as certain strands of liberalism tend to argue, in an important sense this truth of God, this retold narrative, creates our experience. The identity-creative experience, however, is not ours as individuals in isolation. Instead our identity arises within a community, with in the fellowship of God's people in the church."
I believe that the church must recapture the sweeping story that begins in Genesis and ends with God declaring that He is "making all things new". This story must saturate our gatherings. It must comprise our worldview. Our teaching must constantly connect all things back to it.
Additionally, we must elevate our focus on the telling of individual stories and how they merge with the big story. I caught something on T.V. the other day about teen suicide (or I may have actually read it in a book). They theorized that people consider (and commit) suicide when they lose their story--when they don't think their story is going anywhere anymore. Could the same be true of the church? Is it possible that in our quest to make Christianity be all about "propositional truth" we have lost our story? The ramifications of that are staggering. Sometimes when I am asked to speak I do a little thing where I tell the story of scripture in about 15-20 minutes, connecting the major events into a single narrative. The reaction always amazes me. Dozens of people always come up to me afterwards saying "I never thought of it that way." What are we teaching in our churches? Steps? Unconnected historical facts? Timeless Truths? Good advice? God forgive us...and help us to claim and recapure our Story and thereby the church's life.