Archives For Worship Gathering

I’d like to flesh out this dream we’re pursuing in Storyline to become a “red hot center of mission.”

The inspiration for the metaphor comes from a series of posts written by Mike Breen on missional communities, where he explores the red hot center of the early church, the three elements of a red hot center, and what happens when “torches” of red hot centers gather together and make a “bonfire”.


This is a powerful metaphor and a great vision for the church in North America, especially in a time when the fire of mission sometimes seems to have burned down to embers.

Continue Reading…

Made in the Streets

Charles Kiser —  January 7, 2010 — 1 Comment

In 2008, we started a Storyline Christmas tradition as part of the Advent Conspiracy: taking up an offering for a global service organization that serves the cause of justice. In 2008 we gave to Touch A Life, an organization that helps liberate children from slavery in Ghana, West Africa.

This Christmas we decided to continue the Advent Conspiracy tradition by making a donation to Made in the Streets. Made in the Streets serves streets kids in Nairobi, Kenya. They provide shelter, food and education to kids who would otherwise be left to roam the streets.

Watch this video to hear a story about Laurent, a young teenager whose life was changed by the ministry of Made in the Streets. Charles and Darlene Coulston, founders of the organization, tell the story.

A special connection is that South MacArthur Church of Christ, one of our partnering churches, is heavily involved in supporting Made in the Streets. It’s exciting to me the way Storyline is now able to come alongside South Mac in mission in this small way.

All are welcome to make a donation to help God’s work through Made in the Streets.

Storyline is accepting tax-deductible donations until Friday, January 8, here. If you’d like to make a donation directly to Made in the Streets after January 8, you can do so here.

We have the special opportunity to present Storyline’s gift to Charles and Darlene Coulton this weekend at our January worship gathering.

watermarkThe Storyline sermon machine is up and running.

We’ve posted a couple of conversations from previous worship gatherings if you’re interested in listening to them sometime. The machine comes complete with a digital Bible for those who like to follow along.

There’s also an option to subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes.

Click here to see the new podcasts page at

You might also be interested to check out the photo and video galleries under the media menu.

Open House Update

Charles Kiser —  February 12, 2009 — 11 Comments

What a great weekend! It’s almost surreal that Open House has come and gone. We had anticipated and planned for the day for many months.

120 people showed up to celebrate with us. Some came from our partnering churches and resource organization. Some responded to the postcard invitations we sent out into Uptown. Still others were friends who responded to various personal invitations.

The energy in the room was palpable.

We showed the new Storyline film, created by Patrick Cone, to kick off the morning. You can now see the film, as well as a new photo gallery, at the Storyline website.

Our framing story for the gathering was John 11:1-44, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We talked about the way God through Jesus desires to bring resurrection and life into our present circumstances.

One of my favorite segments of the day was at the very end of the gathering — we invited representatives to the stage from eight area organizations who serve the Dallas community: Addison Rotary, Apartment Life, Center for Nonprofit Management, Central Dallas Ministries, Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce, North Texas Food Bank, SoupMobile and the Stewpot.

We committed to join them as they worked to “implement the resurrection of Jesus” in the city of Dallas. We told them we were proud of them and that we noticed the important work they were doing even if no one else did. Before we prayed for them, we read this blessing over them from N.T. Wright:

…What you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that’s about to be dug up for a building site. You are — strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself — accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world — all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. (Surprised by Hope, p. 208 )

I had a God moment after I was scurrying around trying to get ready for the concluding prayer segment. Others in the room were participating in different stations — communion, journaling, conversation and prayer.

Then in the midst of my busyness, a friend who we’d invited to come to the gathering approached me. He was weeping. He had encountered God. We prayed together and shared a special moment. He’d never been to a Storyline gathering before.

It was clear to me in that moment that the Holy Spirit was powerfully at work in his heart. It was as if God took me by the shoulders and shook me a little bit, saying, “Don’t miss it!”

Enjoy a few pictures from the day:











Worth the Risk

Charles Kiser —  December 15, 2008 — 11 Comments

Yesterday was a wonderful day in the life of the Storyline Community. Our first worship gathering went off without a snag.

Worship Gathering

No explosions. No violence. No earthquakes. No fainting. It was great.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us in prayer as we prepared. I’m so proud of my team. All of us worked together with God to do something greater than ourselves.

We talked yesterday about the story of Zechariah and Mary (Luke 1:5-56). One doubted God’s promises; the other trusted. One decided it wasn’t worth the risk; the other decided it was.

Contemplative Stations

Contemplative Stations

For all the challenge of planting a church, I’m sitting here this afternoon thinking: It’s worth the risk. God is worth the risk.

And of all the amazing ways to bring our gathering to conclusion – one of our Storyline people decided that yesterday was the day for him to declare that God is worth the risk of faith.

Sergio Sanchez doesn’t have much in terms of a spiritual/religious background. He grew up in Spain where most of the people he knew were atheists or agnostic. One of his parents is nominally Catholic; the other non-religious.

Sergio Sanchez

Sergio Sanchez

He’s always sensed that God was there. Sergio came to the US this past summer to teach Spanish in the Dallas Independent School District. We connected to him through a mutual friend and he began to explore the story of God more deeply.

Yesterday, Sergio made God’s story his own story and was baptized into Christ.

Sergio wore and old shirt that he used to wear for good luck and then threw it in the trash after he was baptized as a way of symbolizing that the new creation is here: the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

What’s great is that Sergio’s parents were visiting from Spain and were able to see it. The don’t speak a lick of English, so our first baptism ceremony was bilingual. Sergio’s girlfriend, Kara, translated for us and did a marvelous job.

The Water Was Cold

The Water Was Cold



Rejoice with us for the ways God is alive in the Storyline Community!