1 Monumental and 4 Easy Steps to Christian Storytelling
When you work for the church, every story should start with the monumental first step of storytelling: PRAYER. All communication, regardless of which medium is chosen, is about delivering a message. Prayer is all about discovering what that message is. It’s about not just saying something, but having something to say. Pause before every project to ask God for a clear message.
Every story should start with the monumental first step of storytelling: PRAYER. @Danniobracken Click To Tweet
Next, you’ll need a PLAN. Just like an architect can’t build without a blueprint, neither can you deliver a message without a plan. Several variables can have an impact on how your message is received. What is your best choice of medium? Video, poster campaign, live drama? Brainstorm, research, storyboard.
Ask yourself all the questions that are pertinent to detail: Who, what, when, where, how and why. Scout locations, recruit talent, write drafts, manage your time and don’t forget the gaffers tape. The best products are clearly executed from a well thought-out plan.
PRODUCTION should be the simplest step. It’s simply the process of executing your plan. However, flexibility is now the key. Expect the unexpected. Just don’t panic. Make a new plan, if you must. Keep the integrity of your message, and don’t lose sight of the “why”. The best stories come from truth and honesty with as little manipulation as possible.
Be present in the moment and attentive to environmental distractions or contributions. If new ideas come, weight it against your intended message. Hold your message high; don’t lose it.
POST production editing can make your video better… or worse. Decision-making is key. When I traveled to Sudan to document Ginghamsburg’s work with Imagine No Malaria, I couldn’t bring all the gear I wanted. I actually packed less clothes so I could fit a flimsy tripod. I couldn’t bring both cameras. I couldn’t fit my camera slider.
I also couldn’t bring my dog. I could only bring what was essential to tell the story. It’s the same with Post Production. I love my dog, but I had to cut her from the trip. The story would’ve turned into “how my dog got Malaria”. Be willing to cut great content for the sake of your message. Hold your message high; don’t lose it!
A good product needs a good PUSH. Share it! But before you do, double and triple check your work. Typos are your enemy. Carefully scan for mistakes, and have someone else do it as well. Check it with God, too. Is your message still intact? Ask these three questions: Does it honor God? Does it bless other people? Does it bring you joy? You want a solid, “YES” to all three.
A good story is meant to be shared. Push it through your networks. Duplicate and distribute.
What’s your process for telling a good story? Share in the comments below.
Dan graduated from Asbury College in 2006 with a degree in media communication. A few months later, he joined the staff of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH as a graphic design intern. After learning a thing or two over the years, Dan is now Senior Media Producer and leads a team of 80 unpaid media servants. Through his incredible creative ability, God has used him to change lives through the power of story. Dan lives in Tipp City, OH with his wife, Amy, and has 3 year old twins.