Last week I had the awesome experience of going to a conference in Chicago called Storyline. The people and the material there were outstanding, and I wanted to share with you a little of what I learned. The Storyline Conference is hosted by Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, and it’s about improving the story that we are living here and now. Miller wound up making a movie out of Blue Like Jazz, and in the movie-making process, he realized that his life had to be heavily edited in order to be worth showing on the big screen – his story had simply not been that great – so he began thinking about how he could live a better story and help others to do the same.
In any great story, the hero knows what he or she wants and then overcomes conflict to get it. Unfortunately for us, we are constantly being lied to about what we want in life. The average American is exposed to over 5000 advertisements every day, each clamoring to tell us what we ought to want. But you never hear stories about legendary figures who become legendary because they wanted a bigger TV than their neighbor – they want better things than that. They want to change the world! Great leaders, innovators, and heroes – like FDR, Thomas Edison, and Luke Skywalker – figure out what they want, and then they take action, overcoming conflict to reach their goals.
The truth is, God did not create us to just be consumers of what the world is offering. He made us to come alongside Him and be co-creators in our story. What if we were to tune out the voices that say, “if you buy this/act this way/look like this/live here/own more, then you’ll be happy,” and instead we aimed our stories toward greater things? Who knows… Many people have changed the world by living great stories. No matter who you are, your story matters, and you too can change the world around you by living a better story!
Have you ever wished you could lead a life that was more impactful, more meaningful, and more purpose-driven? Do you have a project on your heart, but need the motivation to see it through? If your dreams are God-centered, then it’s not crazy to chase them. I would love to help people at Southside to focus their ideas and passions into world-changing actions, so Bailey Gammill and I are going to teach a class over the Storyline material on Wednesdays in January and February of 2016. We can’t wait, and we’d love to have you join us!