• Annie Manis

Why We Tell Stories

Welcome to our brand new blog! We're so glad you're here.

In 2019, my husband, Walt, and I (along with our good friends Josh and Sarah), started a nonprofit ministry called Story Partners. The purpose of this ministry is to tell the stories of what God is doing around the world – to point peoples' hearts toward Jesus and inspire worship. We tell these stories primarily through short films, but there are so many different ways to tell the stories that point our hearts to Jesus! This blog is just another outlet for us to share these stories, in written form.

Why Stories?

We realize the whole idea of Story Partners might seem strange... an entire ministry created to tell stories? Why would we do that? Well, there are a few reasons why we have given our lives to this work. Here are just a few of them...

It's what God invites us into.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” - Psalm 107:2

All throughout Scripture, we see God inviting us to remember. Remember what He has done. Remember His character. Remember when we saw Him make a way, when there was no way. The language of the Bible is saturated with storytelling. Jesus most often taught in a format of storytelling.

If for no other reason, we want to be a people focused on stories because it's what we see God inviting us to do and it's what we see Jesus modeling in His own life and ministry.

It's worship, and worship shapes perspective.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”

- 1 Chronicles 16:24

Have you ever thought of storytelling as worship? It totally is! When we remember what God has done, WHO God is, and we share those stories with others, we are worshipping. We are putting our eyes on our beautiful Lord, and we are placing honor and praise exactly where it belongs, on God, Himself. What higher calling do we have in this life than to worship?

In the midst of suffering, trials, and even in simply living daily life, I find that I am in constant need of re-fixing my eyes on Jesus. When I focus on Him more than on my current situation, I am able to gain a different perspective... and that perspective gives me the ability to keep walking through my situation, one step at a time, with my eyes on Him.

It builds community, and strengthens the Body.

“To tell you what God has done for my soul is to invite you into my worship.”

- Jackie Hill-Perry

We need one another. We all know it. We were never meant to walk this life alone. God intentionally sets us in community because He knows we need it. Sometimes we're in the thick of our own difficult season and we can't remember the Truth of who God is for ourselves, so we need the Body.

When we share our stories with one another, we stir up faith and worship in one another. We remember the faithfulness and goodness of God in the context of a story of what He has done. This brings our hearts back to Jesus, and in the process strengthens our bond to one another.

It builds our faith and feeds our souls.

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.”

- Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

This world is SO full of bad stories (that feels truer than ever right now, in 2020). When we walk with Jesus, we are invited into the greatest story ever told. It is a beautiful story, and we were made for beautiful stories. They make our hearts come alive. We cannot help but share them.

When we hear stories of hope and redemption, stories of perseverance and God's faithfulness in suffering, it feeds our souls and nurtures our faith. Especially in this moment in history, we so desperately need this sort of life-giving, faith-boosting storytelling that points us to Jesus.

The Greatest Story

The reality is that God is writing millions of stories all around us. Sometimes our eyes go out of focus and we loose sight of these good stories that surround us. Sometimes we need someone to come alongside us and remind us again of who God is, to help us put our eyes back on Him and regain perspective.

It is our hope that the stories we tell will do just that for you. That God would use them to remind you of His incredible beauty, and that your heart would respond in worship.

Want to hear more about Story Partners, and why we exist? Check out this video:

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