Gospel Shaped Story

Gospel Shaped Story

By Jacob Hardman

On October 12 of 2019, Faith hosted Cathy Loerzel and her team from The Allender Center in Seattle, Washington. Over the course of the day, Dr. Dan Allender (via simulcast) and Cathy gave an introduction to the teaching and training that The Allender Center provides.

Dr. Allender’s simulcast covered the introduction to the curriculum taught at The Allender Center. After sharing his personal testimony, Dr. Allender went on to talk about how each and every one of us has a story. He explained that the main events of our stories, both the triumphs and traumas, shape who we are today. However, all too often in our culture, we sweep the traumas of our life under the rug and move on. This can especially be true of Christians. It’s a common tendency among believers to say, “I had some bad stuff happen in my past, but Jesus has healed me of that and now everything is ok!” Dr. Allender would say that, while that is technically true, becoming a new creation in Christ doesn’t mean that the traumas in our past never happened. And it certainly doesn’t mean that the scars from our past don’t still affect us today. This is where The Allender Center comes in.

The Allender Center’s website describes their purpose as follows:

Story is the heartbeat of God, the primary form for revealing who we are, who God is, how the world is broken, and how God intends to restore us and the world. We believe, too, that no one escapes harm over the course of their lifetime. Therefore we all have stories that need healing and restoration. Unfortunately, there are very few contexts in which the full extent of harm and heartache in the human experience can be explored in a way that brings healing. Many therapists are not equipped to address the narrative dimensions at the heart of human brokenness, and many churches and communities avoid the conversations out of fear, discomfort, or lack of training. So we live in a world of silos where narrative therapy, inner healing, and spiritual warfare are seldom integrated for the hope for restoration.

Our purpose is to step into this gap to offer story exploration experiences and to train more leaders to address harm and tragedy with informed care and holistic engagement, identifying the emotional, spiritual, and relational impacts of our core stories of neglect, loss, betrayal, or outright abuse and violence. And in this process, something truly transformative happens: we find the hope of redemption. Courageously stepping into stories of pain and harm is the very place that true healing and restoration occurs.

After Dr. Allender’s simulcast and a brief intermission, Cathy Loerzel gave an in-person seminar diving deeper into the finer points of Dr. Allender’s presentation. Cathy specifically spoke more about how failing to properly work through the trauma of our past can affect our future behavior. She also spoke about how our personalities are made up of three different Biblical archetypes: The King, The Priest, and The Prophet.

These three archetypes have different characteristics. The King plans and organizes, The Priest cares for people’s needs, and The Prophet speaks truth and teaches. While we all have different combinations of these archetypes in our personalities, some archetypes are more pronounced than others. These three archetypes are generated by different aspects of life: Love,  Faith, and Hope respectively. And when these tenets of life fail us, we take on the opposite persona of our archetype. The King becomes a widower (or The Queen becomes a widow), The Priest becomes an orphan, and The Prophet becomes a stranger. Cathy taught that it’s important to try to identify our prominent archetypes so that we can better understand how we process the traumas in our life and how we fit into the body of the Church. (If you want to learn more about these archetypes, please check out this matrix published by The Allender Center: http://theallendercenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Faith-Hope-Love-Matrix.pdf.

 It was great to have Cathy and her team present at Faith.  The presentations, both Cathy’s and Dr. Allender’s, were very insightful. While we were given an introductory course in the span of one day, The Allender Center offers full semester courses through the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, both online and in-person.

To learn more about The Allender Center and its mission, click HERE.

Jacob Hardman is an intern at Faith Church working with the worship ministry and high school students specifically. He is also currently working as a part-time fullstack developer and working towards completing his degree in software engineering.

At Faith, Jacob loves leading worship for the youth ministry and helping with Sunday morning worship services. He also loves helping with other creative ministries at Faith such as the Perspective and the online blog.

In his spare time, Jacob loves writing music, watching movies with his newlywed wife, and playing video games.





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