Story: Connection Trumps Polish

There is nothing like a good story. In children’s ministry, stories are king not only for capturing attention, but also for capturing the heart. In parenting, stories will do more to shape character than any lecture you can give. Stories can be personal, made up, read, told, acted out, shared in conversation or rehearsed for greater impact. Jesus used stories to grip his audience and point them to the Kingdom of God. Our culture of entertainment understands the power of story. Pixar with Disney is a powerful storytelling machine.

If there’s one thing to remember as a parent or leader when working to shape the character of the next generation of children, it’s simple: tell stories.

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Visual polish frequently doesn’t matter if you are getting the story right.

-Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation

Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.

-Matthew 13:34

When telling stories, I like to make sure I have the words exactly memorized. This can cause me trouble when I lose the allure and purpose of the story. Master storyteller, Steven James, reminds me to help the listeners connect with the story rather than to obsess about getting the words right. There is freedom to make ‘mistakes’ when the priority is getting absorbed in the transformational narrative.

Lord, help my stories become magnetic.


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