Reclaim the Story

My Deep Hope is that we become storytellers who faithfully remember the stories of the past and truthfully retell the stories of all people in order to graciously reclaim the Story of God in our lives and in his world

— Mr. McClain, High School History & Bible teacher

Cole's deep hope
Mr. McClain’s Deep Hope statement

This past week marked a significant step toward implementation of Teaching for Transformation (TfT) at Denver Christian as the early adopters group that I’m part of introduced our Deep Hopes and storylines to students. Each of our early adopters developed a Deep Hope and a storyline for our subject area that encapsulated our deepest, Christ-saturated hopes for our students.

My Deep Hope and storyline for my history class is “Storyline: Reclaim the Story.”

Now we start integrating this into our classroom conversations and community. Over the course of the past week, my U.S. History class has explored the specific elements of this Deep Hope. We discussed what it means to become storytellers who live into God’s Story, who faithfully remember the stories of the past, and who truthfully retell the stories of all people.

When we participate in these habits of heart and mind, not only do we practice sound historical reasoning, but also we practice reclaiming the story of God in our lives and in his world.

The late Eugene Peterson describes this well when he says, “None of us is the leading character in the story of our lives. God is the larger context and plot in which all our stories find themselves.”

Since I sincerely believe that this Deep Hope will not gain traction until it becomes our Deep Hope, I wanted to share some reflections from my high school students around this Deep Hope.

They are truly the ones bringing this Deep Hope and storyline to life. Here are their words:

student deep hope

To faithfully remember anything you need to practice doing that thing until it becomes muscle memory. Like telling stories. The more you tell them the more they will be imprinted into your brain and then you are less likely to forget them. There are most likely tons of stories that were forgotten because they were not told and thus they were lost to time. God’s Story is a story that will never be forgotten as long as humans are around. God invites us into this story to share his word and the great news that he exists and he loves you.” 

I think that faithfully remembering the stories of the past is shown through the little details of the story rather than the big picture. Let’s say someone tells you something personal about themselves and they give you little details but also the big picture. Most people later on would be shocked and most likely more joyful if you remembered the small details about the story rather than the big idea.”

“I think being invited means that God has called us all to something special or something specific for this world, and being invited to his story is answering his calling for all of us. To me I think of it as not when we do something special God invites us to be a part of his story, but he already has invited us to be a part of his story and now it’s up to us if we want to choose to be a part of his story.” 

“We should not forget but keep in our minds that remembering means being devoted to our History. Our History changed us and what we are seeing right now in our culture is why we should remember every detail that happened before that made us what we are today. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for our ancestors or whoever shaped us in the past. We are all connected by our past that’s why we have to make sure that we take care of that core memory in order for us to grow as well.”

“When we are invited to God’s story, it means that we are deeply connected with God with our faith. It might influence our life by showing us the might of God, letting us know that he’s always there with us.” 

Cole McClain

Cole McClain teaches U.S. History and Bible at Denver Christian High School. Cole enjoys going on walks with his wife and spending time with his family. To relax, Cole can be found reading or re-watching The Office.

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