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StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories. There are people in your church who have stories that need to be heard.

With our congregations graying and greater disconnect between older and younger generations, we’re in danger of losing a wealth of wisdom, experience, and stories. Sadly this is happening in an age when technology makes the recording, preserving, and sharing of these stories easier than ever.

StoryCorps Logo

Dave Isay created StoryCorps with the mission to preserve stories and archive them for future generations. StoryCorps’ has booths in public spaces, mobile recording tours, events like “The Great Thanksgiving Listen,” and an easy-to-use app. As a result, StoryCorps is preserving history in a personal and universal way.

Chances are the youth in your church already know about StoryCorps through their schools. You know your seniors want to share their stories. So, why not bring them together?

Imagine a StoryCorps Event at Your Church

A meal is shared between the youth and seniors; tables filled with mixed generations, getting to know each other and making new connections. Then, after dessert has been shared, groups head off into classrooms where simple StoryCorp booths have been set up: a table, a volunteer to guide the process, a young person with the app on their phone, asking questions, and a senior to be interviewed.

Soon, you have connected generations, heard great stories, and made people feel validated and heard. You now have a resource for families and the church during a time of mourning and a legacy that will live on and continue to be shared.

StoryCorps as a Pastoral Ministry Tool

StoryCorps App
The StoryCorps app in action.

In addition to an event, The StoryCorps app is a great tool for pastoral ministry. How often have we wished we knew the stories of our older members? Often their own families don’t know their stories–or the whole story.

There are people who would love to entrust you with their stories. Not to be morbid, but they want you to know their stories before their funeral.

The StoryCorps app is an invaluable tool for pastoral calls, whether in homes, hospitals, or nursing homes. There’s no end to the wealth of blessing you might gain from preserving the stories of the people in your care.

I Love TED Talks

The short, image-rich presentations are a great way to fill free time with new ideas and concepts. Watching the talks not only gives me new information but new perspectives or ones that I might not normally consider. I always come away having learned something.

A lot of preachers are imitating TED Talks in their sermons. Love them or hate them, TED Talks impact your people. They’re watching them. So, why not use them?

I created this resource as an experiment with the concept of a TED Talk based small group discussion. Dave Isay’s StoryCorps presentation is the perfect way to introduce the concept and spark some vision for our community.

The attached PDF introduces TED Talks to those who might not be aware of them and guides discussion before and after viewing the video (a simplified link is included in the discussion guide).

Feel Free to Use This Resource

Please feel free to use this TED Talk discussion guide. Try it out with your small group or Sunday School class. Kick the tires, adapt it as you might need, and then let me know how it works for you. I would love to hear your stories!