The Power of Story

  

Jesus is a master story teller…

I recently visited the National Media Museum in what is regarded as The City of Film in Bradford, UK. The museum charts the development of media from the Photo to Film, from Animation to Gaming, from TV to Adverts, From Internet to Social Media

The museum illustrates the Power of the Media to Share Iconic Moments, Influence Opinion, Create Shared Experience and Shape Attitudes and highlights the historical impact of the BBC as an ‘Exporter of British Culture and Values worldwide’

Media is also seen as the ‘4th Arm of Government

It’s a tool used to ‘Influence the Masses

In the wrong hands media is a tool for mass propaganda

Humans have been telling stories from the beginning and in our recent book ‘Kingdom Mission…Stuart Simpson and I show why Media is one of the 7 Spheres of Influence in Society and the power of media to change minds and create movements. 

Stories activate imagination…and as Einstein said, ‘Imagination is More Important than Knowledge

Good stories, told well…have stickability…they are more easily retained and passed on than a bunch of facts and figures or a long lecture…stories are memorable

It’s little wonder then that Jesus, the ultimate creator taught his audience through telling stories

‘Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables…’ (Mark 4:1-2)

Those who have mastered the Art of Story-Telling know that is has power to draw large audiences. Consider YouTube…how many millions are taught each day through the use of video?

I spoke to someone recently who said that they had taught themselves Yoga through a series of online videos posted on YouTube. How are Jesus’ apprentices using channels like YouTube in the 21st Century to ‘teach the crowds’. Imagine a series of short videos that train people to ‘Hear the Voice of God‘ for example

DreamTalent understand the Power of Story to attract and teach crowds gathering in the inner-cities…every month they host Talent Showcase Events where they communicate a theme relating to UrbanMovements using visual arts, sound, dance/theatre and other media. But behind the scenes the team leaders look at the principles of Jesus as applied to Urban Movements throughout the centuries that kick-start movements that change the world (The Civil Rights Movement for example)

  
Revolution House also utilises the Power of Story to dramatic effect drawing on the history of revolutionary and cultural movement practices and embedding these in Cultural Events and Debates, Radical Communities and Open Mic Nights through sound, poetry, music bands and live-art gathering small crowds of creatives, students and ‘alternatives’

  

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In face, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them’ (Mark 4:33-34)

Notice that Jesus ‘NEVER‘ spoke to a large audience publicly without using poignant stories! 

But He does have this intriguing Inside/Outside approach. With outsiders and outside with the crowd, he uses stories. But then with insiders (disciples) and inside (usually a house) he explains the meaning behind the stories

Jesus told a special kind of story – he told Parables – a type of analogy that illustrates a universal truth or set of values. Jesus’ stories had layers of meaning and hidden messages…they could be heard and received on many levels, whilst at the same time, they were snappy and succinct. 

The Stories were like a package for the potent seed embedded within them…the Secret of the Kingdom

‘Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. He replied “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders…” (Mark 4:10-11)

Marketers understand the power of story to attract consumers to engage in their brand. When a product or service is enveloped in a story it helps us to relate to the brand and want to share with others

I think adverts are one of the most effective modern versions of the parable. Particularly the kind of adverts you see in cinemas before the trailers and film begins. Many of them are very well packaged short stories designed to pull on our heartstrings and play with our emotions. You know, like the Coca-Cola adverts that get us to believe that by drinking a really sugary artificial drink we will ‘Open Happiness’ or the endless car adverts that manage to convince us that if we get into a curvy shaped piece of metal with an engine and drive with the wind we will ‘Experience Joy‘. Or how about fast food brands that sell us diabetes in brown paper bags persuading us through the power of story in the form of adverts that they really do ‘Bring Families Together’

I suppose the difference with Jesus’ parables is that for those who are ‘really listening‘ they actually do lead to joy and bringing families together who build on his teaching without the side affects of rotting teeth and sagging waistlines… 

Documentary film distributors such as Dogwoof have really honed the art of sharing stories that are not being told by the mainstream media, stories of injustice and stories of hope. Up and coming Documentary Film makers ThunderClapTV are currently working on a documentary that tells the untold story of the 2011 UK Riots and what really sparked off the whole episode

Do You Think We Tell Enough Stories?

How Are We Using the Power of Story, Social Media and New Technology to Spread Our Message and Start Movements in Our Generation?

Are You Creating Inspiring Events that Draw a Large Audience through Story-Telling Like Jesus Did?

How Can We Share Stories that Change the World in the 21st Century?

Perhaps You Are Already involved in Story-Telling and Media?

Let’s Connect…

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