Storytelling in missions mobilization.

The stories that we tell shape our worldview. When someone asks us what our stories are, what do we say? How do we tell them? The ways that we tell and re-tell our personal narratives informs our identity, as well as how we see and interact with the world.

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This works on the larger scale, as a community. What stories do we tell, together? What do we celebrate in our stories, together? How are our worldviews shaped by our collective narratives? Entire societies and cultures are built on the stories we tell, on the narratives that we choose.

Because we do choose our narratives, consciously or otherwise. As Christians, the way we look at our journeys matters. The way we see and tell our story matters.

Artists, in all forms, are storytellers. But mobilizers are storytellers too. Or actually, story re-tellers. We shift the narrative from being centered on ourselves to who God is, to what He is doing, to His global purpose. The “overarching chronology,” we call this in Kairos. Instead of asking where God fits into our individual stories, we prompt the question: Where do we fit into His? What parts are we playing in the greatest story ever told?

And that’s significant, because if this is the narrative that we embrace, then our whole identity is shaped by it. Our whole lives are changed by this narrative.

We live in a world with countless platforms to tell a story. How do we effectively or simply communicate this message–that God loves all the nations, that His people are meant to take active roles in blessing the nations–using these platforms? How do we capture people’s imaginations, in telling the greatest story ever told? More importantly, how can we use stories to move people?

In the final analysis, our lives are subplots. It is His story that weaves in and through our histories…and endures. “He himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him.” And when we are gone, new generations take ownership of sharing this narrative, and they in turn pass it on to the next, and the next–shaping identities, changing lives.

The movement continues.

The powerful play goes on.

So the way we communicate our message is important. Jesus told stories–effective and simple. He told profound truths in parables. Stories with a beginning, a middle, an end. Stories that captured people’s imaginations and made sense to them on a personal level.

The arts help us tell stories in ways that dig deep into people’s hearts. Spoken word poetry, creative video editing, music, design, the possibilities are endless. How do we use these as platforms to communicate this important message? There is an active place for creative arts in missions mobilization, and not just in the background. How exciting all the possibilities are.

~

This ended up a bit longer than I originally intended. After months of trying to reconcile my inherent love of poetry and this call to missions mobilization, I realize they intersect at this crucial point. I am excited about this line of thought, about exploring the ins and outs of creative mobilization–the art of telling a story, in light of how important a narrative is–and what it looks like in practice.

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