Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Power of Story...

My ministry partner, Stephen Corbett, attended a conference a year or two ago and heard Donald Miller talk about the power of story. As Stephen recapped Miller's talk I was thoroughly intrigued, as I'm a big believer in stories and their power to communicate. I'm looking forward to the release next year of a book Miller is writing that deals with "letting story guide you."

I came across a post recently that captured quotes from a recent seminar at which Donald Miller taught. Here are some of the highlights:

+ Story in its most basic form: A character who wants something and is willing to overcome conflict in order to get it.

+ Narrative is the most powerful transformational tool there is. Story has the power to change peoples lives.

+ The Bible is full of stories.

+ If I were to play some sounds of a jackhammer, birds, and a truck backing up, you would say that is noise, not music. But if I were to play Beethoven, you would call that music. They are both noises, vibrations, but what is the difference? I have no idea.

+ There is a difference between random events and story. The mind engages stories, not random information. A story is music. Random information is noise.

+ Where there is a narrative, people can engage.

+ I am a character in a story that hasn't been written yet.

+ My friend said, "Life is meaningless." I said, "No, life is fine. Your life is meaningless." It's the story my friend was writing with his life that he didn't like.

+ Imagine a documentary film crew making a reality show about you. What would the theme of that show be?

+ In a good story, a hero can't think more of himself than he does of others. If he does, then he ceases being the hero.

+ A good test for your story is this: If you were to die, what would happen in the world?

+ God doesn't ever stop at the end of a story and give the moral of the story. He doesn't. He just tells another story.

+ I believe the main way we consume story is through engaging each other.

+ What would it be like for Christians to silently tell better stories through their lives?