The Next Chapter

September 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

The Next Chapter 1Is there a book that has shaped you? Maybe a particular story that inspired you to do something? There are a handful of books in our world that forever changed the course of human history. Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Ethics, the works of Shakespeare, Freud, Darwin. There are books that have launched wars, and that have set whole movements in motion. Something I’ve been thinking lately is, what if those books had never been written? I mean seriously, what kind of world would we live in if it weren’t for Dostoevsky, or Mark Twain, or Milton? What if Romeo and Juliet never existed – or worse, Hamlet? Would “to be or not to be” still be the question?

I’ve grown to believe that the greatest tragedy in the world would be for someone to have a great story beating in their heart and yet to never share it. If Tolkien had never shared with us Middle Earth, or C.S. Lewis never told us about Narnia, I believe that we would live in a lesser world today.

I pastor a church called STORYCHURCH. We talk a lot about stories as I’m sure you would guess. We tell people over and over to “embrace the story you were meant to live.” See I believe that inside our community are some of the greatest stories the world has ever heard. And yet, they are yet to be written. They haven’t yet been shared with anyone. They live in the hearts and minds and dreams of our people.

There’s the dad who wishes he could find a way into the heart of his teenage daughter.

There’s the secure, well paid professional who wonders if he would have the courage to open an orphanage in a third world country.

There’s the stay at home mom who wishes she could bridge the racial divide in her neighborhood.

There’s the student who believes she really can change the world, even if her parents and her professors are telling her to pursue something more reasonable.

There’s the couple whose marriage has turned into a partnership of convenience who secretly long for a passion-filled pursuit of each other, but fear of rejection keeps them from taking the first step.

I don’t believe that God has called us to ordinary lives. I believe He’s called us into an adventure of faith that will rattle us, that will shake us to our core, and that will throw us head first into the greatest stories the world has ever heard. This month at our church we begin a series called “The Next Chapter.” I think for many of us, the time for our greatest story is now. I think we’ve sat back long enough. We’ve played it safe. We’ve not rocked the boat. But maybe God is about to do something big in us. In you. Maybe you’re on the verge of an epic story. I believe it’s time for the next chapter to unfold.

I want to personally invite you to join us this month at STORYCHURCH – live, or via our podcast. Because the greatest tragedy that could ever happen would be for you to keep your story hidden. It’s time to let it out. It’s time for the next chapter.

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Jeremy Copeland

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