Tonight was the first meeting of my Storytellers small group. Over the next couple of months we’ll be look at the power of story and walking through creating better stories in our own life. The group will culminate with some sort of group project that will be more than just another short term service project. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those.) As we continue on, we’ll work through what that will actually be and look like, but we’ll spend the first 2/3rds of the group discussing story.

Speaking of stories…one of the guys participating in the group has a friend in town who couldn’t get home to Phoenix because of all of the D.C. snow. She decided to tag along with him to the small group tonight to see what it was all about. She enjoyed the group and an idea was brought up that she could potentially Skype in for future Storyteller sessions! Very excited about this possibility. I don’t know if any other NCC small group has people Skyping in from across the country! I love technology.

Tonight I introduced the basic concepts of life as story using an endless number of quotes from Story by Robert McKee, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller (The inspiration for the group), and All Marketers are Storytellers by marketing guru Seth Godin. These three books are all different looks at story. Mckee’s Story is a rather large book that breaks down the elements of good story. He does a 36 hour seminar (in 3 days, 3 – 12 hour lectures, yikes!) on story that many Oscar winning screenwriters have learned from. AMMIATY is about Donald Miller’s realization that he was living a boring story with no purpose and how he’s chosen (and how you can too) to be intentional about living a better story. And All Marketers are Storytellers is about exactly what the title infers. (And perhaps the greatest lesson you learn is in Godin’s error in naming the book on it’s first release.)

I don’t think McKee and Godin’s books are for everyone, but I’m begging you, if you only read one book this year, make it A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The book changed the way I view life and story, and the harmony that exists between the two. We’re consistently telling stories…the problem is that most of the time, we’re not telling good ones. That’s a problem because as Christians we have an awesome story to tell.

Over the next few days I’ll outline the three things I believe every good story has as we explore the idea of life as story.