Sometimes you meet people with such an incredible story you know the things you learn from them are going to remain with you. John Hays founded Inner Change: A Christian order among the poor. He was compelling and helpful on so many levels.
1. Your story
2. Your communities story
3. The biblical story
You need to know how to put them together and this he told us always takes time.
We must, he said, be people 'who nail our feet to the ground' that God has called us to which was a phrase that resonated with all of us.
John is the author of Sub-merge which he said his friends tell him that when you read it, it usually ruins your day.
In the afternoon, a great fellow called Mike Hewitt from NFI came to tell us about planting churches in the East End. He too has a remarkable life and story and we learnt much about what it means to do church in a white working class context.
His insight about the current way we do church- even planting- being unbiblical was fascinating.
Today: The Church gathers disciples who do evangelism (in some cases)
NT/Acts: You do evangelism which gather disciples to produce a church
We have flipped the model which explains rather a lot of our current outcomes he suggested.
Sandwiched in the middle we heard about Mission Year.
All different stories but all such a blessing.
I did a book review of The Shaping of things to come and interestingly had one of its quotes about 'story' on my heart all day which seemed to fit where God took us.
'Ivan Illich was once asked what is the most revolutionary way to change society. Is it violent revolution or is it gradual reform. He gave a careful answer. Neither. If you want to change society, then you must tell an alternative story he concluded' [Page 32]
A lingering thought that John offered was be sure to talk to those who are old in our communities. They know the story best out of anyone but few take the time to ask, seek them out and learn it. It was fitting I concluded my day with my amazing friend Audrey  who is coming to lead our Quiet day. She's going to teach our people about intimacy with God through Scripture, solitude and hearing God's voice.
We all have a story to tell and a story we are writing.
It's too early to tell if mine will be a good one.