Why Stories – People who tell stories engage us in the language of our hearts (pictures and movie clips). Leaders who tell us our story move us. We lead people into their greatness when we connect them with their own stories. It’s a prophetic process that you can do. We tell stories (and listen to them) because they convey the purpose in our book (Ps. 139:15-16). Those stories ignite those we are called to lead or collaborate with because their purpose overlaps ours. The process of being intentional about sharing your purpose is called marketing! We’re evangelizing the hearts of co-workers and customers into the Kingdom and our business with stories. Our strategy is to ignite their hearts by touching what Father has written in their book, the desires of their hearts. Spiritually, books are often sealed, and a prophetic story is often a key that helps us unlock our real purpose and calling in a business setting.
BTW – Father is always leading us into our book too. He shows us the brightness of our future, so we’ll trade for it (the goodness of God leads). We’re just doing what Father does. Sons knowing their story is what releases the creativity and courage to make it come true. Stories have humble heroes, mentors, adversaries, deaths, rebirths, warfare, and higher purpose woven into a pattern others identify with. Wrestling to get your own story on paper is a big step in convincing our hearts that we have an important Kingdom purpose. We each need to believe our own story!
Leaders Tell Stories – Real leaders are in touch with the story written in the books of individuals, corporations, and nations. Their primary purpose is to articulate the prophetic “why.” It’s important via the narrative in that destiny; where it all leads. Stories tell why it’s important; how it’s a dream come true. People don’t remember facts, follow orders, or naturally get excited about bureaucracies. No one is enthusiastic about self-serving people or organizations. We are all motivated by one thing, “What’s written in our hearts?” Leaders tap that narrative and tell the story of where it leads. Our hearts remember the “experience” of hearing and feeling the story in our book; it’s unforgettable.
With individuals – Managers, supervisors, teachers, and pastors often tell people what’s wrong, what to do, and how to change. Leaders tell them what’s written in their book – their “why.” The difference is night and day. People are ignited by the passion that God wired into their DNA. They love to talk about it, love to clarify it, love to plan the details, and love to make it happen. Leaders facilitate those dreams coming true. In return, those same leaders have friends, partners, and staff who love them and would do anything for them. It’s motivation, teamwork, and respect.
With Corporations and Organizations – Like individuals, every company has a book or purpose. The people who can articulate that prophetic direction and tell the story are the leaders. Those who can communicate the essence of their book to customers are the marketing directors. People don’t buy what you have to sell; they buy your “why.” Leaders are the stewards of the story: they protect it, develop it, and communicate it. A corporate story is a tool of evangelism that connects the company and the Kingdom. What is the corporation doing that the Father is also doing? In secular circles, it’s called social responsibility or a just cause. It simply means the business connects with its Kingdom ministry in the community, the story written in their corporate book. The story or Kingdom purpose of a vision doesn’t really reside in the business. It’s written in the hearts of the owner, CEO, Leadership team, and the staff. Listening to the hearts of people is the key to understanding the purpose of a business.
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement, he will show him even greater things than these. John 5:19-20 NIV
With Nations – Nations also have a book. We can ask God to show it to us, and He will. Every nation has a ministry to its people and the world. There is great power and blessing in cooperating with that direction. Individuals, corporations, churches, and schools that understand that story can make a nation great. That greatness translates to prosperity and ministry to people that is glorious, a glory that has value in the Kingdom. Political leaders who can best articulate what’s written in the book of a nation get elected. It resonates in the hearts of people and the heart of God.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Rev 21:24-26 NIV
Tell the story – Jesus has led me through a personal reformation over the last decade. Instead of discerning problems, I’m focused on hearing the testimony of Jesus about people. Then I have a conversation with them about their story of what’s in their book and where it will lead. Saved or unsaved, they love me for doing it, and that same story gives them the reason to fix their own problems. It’s very prophetic, very moving, very loving, and very fun. I decided not to narrate the story of the accuser of the brethren and where that leads. Condemnation doesn’t produce fruit.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free… Rom 8:1-2 NIV
The real goal of your story is resonating with co-workers, partners, clients, and customers. Does it ignite them? Realistically, the best format is a video where your story is told based on the narrative in a way that conveys your book / purpose. Your story is a prophetic trumpet that other people can hear in their hearts. There is a great 20 minute video on the power of stories, a discussion between JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Cultures and conversions happen through stories written in Books and discussed in the council. When you tell your story it becomes obvious Father wrote it. Even unsaved or culturally hesitant can hear the sound of it.
Outline for “Your” Story
Personal – Education, Family, Business/Vocation, Hobbies, Ministry
How did you get Started? – Where are you from; the context of your life; where have you been? (Show your credibility). Who have been your mentors, fathers?
Personal Passion – What’s the purpose that integrates your past, present and future (Mind map)
- Mind Map – A picture worth a 1000 words (Purpose, Mission, goals on a mind map)
- What it feels like?
- Who (are the people you benefit?)
- Vision (where’s it going in the future?)
- Mission – What’s the practical strategy, including cashflow, to implement your purpose?
Personal Benefit – What satisfaction, rewards do you get. What drives you?
Value to Others – how does your pursuit, vision help others
What setbacks have your faced / how did you resurrect? (Business upside, business downside), Show your vulnerability
Vision for the Kingdom/Reformation – Where is your purpose going? Integrate your dream with God’s.
How can you help others (What’s your offer?) – What’s compelling about your story that engages others? Where’s the handle for me to connect?
Great Stuff on the Cutting room floor
S– Set the scene (Who? What? and Where?)
O– Obstacles were encountered
A– Action was taken
R– Resolution. How did it turn out?
The Seventh Story (note the first six are storylines that are false). When you understand the story written in the hearts of other people, you won’t be confused by their actions. They are living out where the story in their heart leads, for better or for worse. You can build a bridge into an adversarial camp with a better story. Unsaved people still carry the story God wrote in their hearts deep in their DNA. If you touch it prophetically, they are faced with the goodness of God leading them in a different direction.
- Domination (we tell them what to do)
- Revolution (we overthrow them)
- Isolation (we get away from them)
- Purification (we get rid of them)
- Accumulation (we get enough money and other things to protect ourselves from them)
- Victimization (our lives have been made bad by them, Victims have to fight for their rights)
- Kingdom (God is building His Kingdom on earth. You have a role, it feels like love and warfare)
Tell the stories around your subplots
There is also a place to tell subplots instead of your whole life story. I put a Story of Healing in Healing for Warriors that follows the Hero’s Journey outline (given below). Although healing is not my main purpose, it comes up frequently in helping people connect their hearts and their book. We’ve all been through deaths and resurrections! It’s a great format for writing a short story, explained further in The Hero’s Journey.
The term Hero’s Journey comes from Joseph Campbell. He spent his life connecting story plots in myths, religions, plays, books, and art and came up with an outline of the “Hero’s Journey.” It’s a secular compilation and there are short versions of his findings in a video and article. It’s the story of why stories work. They have a Kingdom theme of Death, Resurrection, and Victory, as do our lives. In the Story of Healing, I just arranged the story around the Joseph Campbell outline.
The Story Behind Healing for Warriors
Joseph Campbell Outline My Outline
- Ordinary World (Roots in Montana)
- Call to adventure (Purpose)
- Refusal (Dealing with “I’m not worthy)
- Meeting mentor (Thinking about healing)
- Crossing the threshold (Deciding to Try)
- Test – allies and Enemies (The Cowboy heritage)
- Approach of inmost cave (Overcoming my deepest doubts and fears to take the first step)
- Ordeal, test warfare (The dream – This can’t be real)
- Reward – Seizing the Sword (Put one foot in front of the other)
- Road back – personal victory (The drive home)
- Resurrection – Promotion (It’s not about ‘me’)
- Return with Elixer (Healing for Warriors)
Where do I Start?
My suggestion is to build your story around your purpose and mind map. The place to start is with a 3 module course on purpose and mindmap we call the Nail your Purpose Field Guide.
Resources – The purpose of Heaven for each of us is already written in your heart and can be seen and heard in the Council. Your business can shift from a Christian business full of obedient servants to a Kingdom business full of creative and industrious sons who make a difference. We help people and businesses get their prophetic purpose in writing and then make it happen on earth. Taste and see! Tools to get started are here:
- Intentional Reformation Intro (A free diagnostic you will enjoy along with our purpose & Values)
- Nail your Purpose Field Guide (A place to start clarifying your heart’s desires)
- OnlineHeartPlan.com (Our web site and online Courses)
- USA Book (proof we can get our arms around the books of people, businesses, and nations
Other books by John S Garfield are available on Amazon:
- Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace (2004)
- Desire to Destiny – Seven Keys to Your Marketplace Ministry (2007)
- Seers and Doers: Sons Bringing Heaven to Earth (2018)
- Intentional Reformation – A Roadmap to Change Yourself and the World (2020)
- Intentional Reformation Primer – 5-Step Roadmap to Make Your Dream Come True (2020)
- Healing for Warriors: Connecting Your Purpose and Your Health (2020)
- Lead Your Tribe Field Guide (2021)
- Let’s Build a Kingdom Business (2022)
- Find our free blog at ReleasingKings.com; Courses at www.OnlineHeartPlan.com