Lessons Learned: The Power of a Story

Last week I shared a portion of Pastor Tony Kobak’s boat story. Just to give you a quick review:

“Tony what is one thing that you would like God to give you for ministry?”  I asked.

Tony said, “A Boat”.  Everyone laughed as it sounded like a silly request.  Jeff then asked Tony “Why a boat?”

Tony responded “It would give me time away from the congregation for prayer and an opportunity to minister missionally to individuals who might be more willing to go fishing than step in a church.” One of Tony’s classmates Phil Robarge then said, “Tony that is stupid, I bet you a 12 pack you never get a boat.”

2 years after that boat was prayed for, Pastor Kobak (Tony) was given a pontoon boat by a dying friend as a part of his inheritance. A while later, Pastor Tony baptized Todd Gloth, who learned about Jesus on Tony’s boat. (You can read the entire portion of the story from Tony’s perspective here).

Here are 3 of my favorite “lessons learned” as I reflect on Tony’s story:

#1.  Ask specifically for the “crazy” request.

Do you ever refrain from asking God for something because you think that request too small? Stop it. Start asking. Will He grant your requests? Maybe. Maybe not. What a blessing is ours, though, when we believe that God cares about every aspect of our lives, every desire of our hearts. It is in the asking where we put into practice the confidence that God owns every boat and that…

God gives boats.

#2.  Look at your life in total.

Does God care about boats? Yes! Even more, He cares about the people who will use those boats, who will engage with each other on those boats, who will discuss the realities of life in Jesus on those boats. Get out of your church box, thinking that only what happens in church is “spiritual.” Stop compartmentalizing your life. God’s Kingdom is breaking out all over. Every provision in your life belongs to God, and can be used by God for His purposes.

God uses boats.

#3.  Stories help us put #1 and #2 into practice.

Already, within a couple of weeks of reading this story, the impact of his story on others has been inspiring. As Pastor Kobak’s story has been shared in multiple conversations, people are considering what their “boat prayer” would be.  When I think of what might have been missed in conversations, in understanding, if Pastor Kobak would not have shared this story, I am more convinced than ever that we need more stories, not less.

What’s YOUR “boat”?

Go here https://livelifetogether.com/stories to share your story. Click on the “Submit a Story” button at the top of the page, and share it.

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