A Minister's Take Aways From STORY 2018


“Have I gone mad? I'm afraid so. 

You're entirely Bonkers. 

But I will tell you a secret, 

All the best people are.”

I had the privilege to help with STORY, a two day conference-style gathering designed to inspire, challenge, and equip artists, creators, and storytellers who work in a variety of industries. 

I was there for a week to help set up, take down, and do whatever I was asked to do during the conference. Fortunately I was able to see most of the presentations. This year the theme was “Wonder” from Alice in Wonderland. We want to create wonder in our storytelling.

As a minister I was excited about being around some of the most creative storytellers and minds to listen, learn, and observe how to be a better storyteller so I could tell the best story there is—Jesus. 

Here are some of my take aways and observations of this fantastic conference. 

Our ability to move people does not depend on how perfectly we deliver the message.

This is huge. Sometimes we are so focused on not making mistakes we lose sight of the power of the story we are telling. As a minister, my desire is to motivate the audience to action; to encourage them to be active by living like Christ and loving and serving others.  Being real and relatable is more effective than a perfect delivery. In other words, we have to move people to step out of their comfort zone and daily habits to live for Him.

If the only metrics we use to measure value are efficiency and productivity we will miss out on the most creative projects.

There’s a place for efficiency and productivity, but if those are the ONLY metrics we use our creativity will be stagnant. Sometimes we need to just create—who knows when something we’ve created that originally didn’t seem to be effective or productive will help spark an idea later. This was demonstrated during the improv writing session by Don Hahn, producer of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, Brad Montague, creative genius of Kid President and founder of the Montague Workshop, Jim Kruger, former creative director at Marvel and former writer for DC, and Steve Feldman director of Sesame Street. The ability to throw out the worst idea in your head may spark the idea for the best idea (often from someone else) to help make your story amazing.

Fear is often disguised as wisdom.

Fear is action’s worst enemy. We all want to make the best decision; however, sometimes our desire to find and implement the best solution to a problem or best idea, that we constantly plan and brainstorm—never acting, never trying anything. What started out as wisdom turned into something bad: crippling fear. 

Connecting with your audience is more than the communication of information; it’s learning to use phrasing in our storytelling in a way that motivates others to action.

Information is still an important factor in storytelling, but it’s more than that. We need to find ways to make information personal, applicable, and measurable. We must find ways to tell our story in a purposeful, directional, and intentional way. 

Learn to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more talented than yourself and allow them to do their job.

I had the pleasure to watch delegation work effectively, and it was inspiring. Being around people who all had different talents collaborate and make something wonderful served as a great example for me. We need to remember that everyone is made with different talents. If we can encourage AND ALLOW them to use those gifts with a common purpose in mind, we can change the world.   

Don’t just tell your story; live your story.

My life is my story. It’s my job to live a life that reflects the story that I want to tell. The story I want to tell is one of love, mercy, and grace. The story I want to tell gives all glory to Christ and constantly brings others to the cross. 

My purpose needs to be in line with my priorities.

I realized I need to be more focused. Instead of allowing my mind and energy to travel in many different directions, ideas, and trying to be a mix a bunch of people, I need to find my voice, my story, and utilize my talents to tell the greatest story, Jesus.

People may look at us and think we are just a little bit crazy. That we’ve gone mad. But you know what?

All the best ones are.

Jonathan Germany

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