Love, Foster, and Harris make 7 points about seeing the church as God’s story.

1. Looking at the church narratively reflects the truth of our experience. People don’t live in a theory or a concept.

2. Narrative prevents us from over-identification with external characteristics.

3. Viewing the church in terms of a narrative reminds us of the importance of every moment — including ours. . . . In a good story, every chapter is important and advances the story in some way.

4. Narrative points to the ‘unfolding’ nature of God’s mission, especially its ‘already’ but ‘not yet’ aspects.

5. Viewing the church as a story shows that the church is not the end in itself.

6. Looking at the church narratively is better than a more static view at reminding us that the church must include both continuity and change.

7. A narrative view replaces a defensive mentality with a sense of adventure and engagement — and in so doing reflects a deep understanding of what it means to be a restoration movement.

“If we do not see ourselves as part of God’s ongoing story, the church’s posture becomes totally defensive. There’s nothing to do but protect the gains of the past, because once the structures are right and in place, the journey is over. God has ceased to inhabit the present and propel us to the future. Scripture, however, shows God as the one who does new and surprising things.”