“Now, what about story?” I asked. “A good family truly knows one another and what makes us who we are today. Do you all know one another’s stories?”

“Well, some of us who have been here longer know some of the stories,” Matt said. “But there are some in the room here who don’t know us well, and we don’t really know their stories either. What if those of us who’ve been here longer each make it a point to have others who don’t know our story over for dinner? Then, over dinner, we will share our stories with them. Then we will be eating, sharing our stories, and listening to one another. And those who are new to the family can share their stories with the whole group at our family meal. We could do one story a week for the next month or so.”

“That’s a great idea! Let’s do that,” the group responded.

“Let’s not forget to go through The Story of God. Some of us here haven’t gone through the whole story of the Bible. Can we do that soon?” Clay asked.

“That’s a great suggestion,” I said. “How about this? During the summer, we are likely going to meet more people who come to our cookouts. Many of them will not know the story of God’s loving rescue through Jesus. Let’s pray that some of them want to keep hanging out with us when it gets wet and dark around here again. If they do, let’s ask if they want to go through The Story together in the fall.” Everyone agreed.

“Hold on,” one of our members said. “I love going through The Story, but I’ve never read through the entire Bible. Would any of you like to read through the whole Bible this year?” Not everyone in the group wanted to do this, but some did. Those who did agreed to help one another with this goal.

Throughout this time, Adam was playing the role of the scribe. He wrote all these ideas down.

Jeff Vanderstelt, Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).