We all love a good story. Good story-tellers captivate their audience and keep them on the edge of their seats. Why? Because we all want redemption. We long for authenticity and beauty. A story is good because it is believable. A story is good because it’s honest. We get sucked in by the suspense, tension, and friction, which makes us ache for a beautiful resolution. These are all elements of a good story.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we must testify to how the gospel has worked and is still working in our lives. This is not only in our salvation, but how the gospel meets us in our depression, miscarriages and loss of life, financial ruin and job loss, adultery and marital strife, adoption and fostering of orphans, selling all possessions and entering the mission field, engaging the lost in our neighborhoods, etc. The gospel literally impacts every facet of our lives, and these stories need to be told in order to build up of the church, engage the lost, and above all to glorify our God and Savior Jesus Christ. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
This is why I think it is so important for the redeemed, covenant members of our churches to tell their stories. We want to show the world that the all surpassing power at work in us is from God. At the Mount Church we have recently begun a story-telling ministry that aims to do just this through the medium of video. Here are a few guidelines to help you tell a better story using video at your church:
1. Look for nutshell statements that encapsulate what needs to be communicated. We aren’t looking for every nitty gritty detail, but rather specific details that assist to tell the greater narrative -what are the darkest moments, the brightest moments, etc. Look for the truth that needs to be communicated and what stories and examples are given to illustrate that truth well. Usually the pieces and parts of our stories that we are tempted to hold back are the very bits of truth that need to be brought to light.
2. Excellence is our servant, Jesus is our King. While we want to harness the excellence and creativity the Lord has given us to seamlessly point people to the excellencies of our Savior, don’t “sacrifice Jesus at the altar of excellence.” If the audio isn’t perfect or the shot isn’t the most appealing, keep it if it shows Jesus as beautiful. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7). It isn’t our pretty, polished production that is going to lead people to Jesus but the TREASURE inside the content of our production that will show that the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us.
–Jesus needs to be the hero of the story. We are not trying to offer a hallmark story. In the deepest of valleys and the highest of mountains, in the darkest of nights, and the brightest of lights, the glory of God should be at the forefront and the viewer should leave thinking, “Jesus is good. Jesus is sweet. Jesus is greater than our mess. Jesus is worth the loss. Jesus is better.”
It’s all about Jesus. He has chosen to work in and through his people to show case his story and glory to the world around us. So tell a better story by telling the best story.