It may come as no surprise that I am a massive fan of all things Disney. And the reasons why are widely varied. From a completely surface level, from all of their output ranging from classic & feature animation, to Pixar, to now Marvel, ESPN, National Geographic, and even Star Wars; to of course, the ‘Happiest Place on Earth,’ Disney World, these things are all highly entertaining!
And yes, if all we receive from these many things is a good feeling and we come away feeling nothing but entertained, Disney has done its job. Now, entertainment is certainly an aspect that I appreciate, and keeps me hooked I’m perfectly willing to admit! Disney World is even where Becky and I went on our honeymoon. But there is something else that Disney does; something else that keeps drawing me in; something more than merely attempting to grab at my attention for a few fleeting moments. And that is that throughout all they do, they tell the best story that they can.
As a student of the gospel I aspire to be the best storyteller that I can be. Mainly because our own stories are inseparable from the story of the gospel itself! To tell the story of the gospel is, in part at least, to tell our story too. So, if there is something that I think I can learn from Disney as a storyteller, I want to try!
One thing that Pixar, one of the Disney companies, is doing is creating a new series of animated shorts called SparkShorts. The sources of these stories are coming from any of their employees who has a story to tell. One of the first animated shorts I saw was called Kitbull: a story of a kitten and a Pitbull. There isn’t a single word spoken in the 8-minute short, but it is one of the most moving stories of friendship, that will both break your heart and mold it back together warmly. Such is the power of story. I shared this short (you can find it on YouTube!) with Staff this week because our recent Congregational Meeting reminded me of it.
We can easily tend to think of organizations, congregations included, as having just one, or a small group of leaders. But after last Sunday’s meeting, y’all, I am so excited. Because like the SparkShorts program, we all have a diverse voice and unique story of love to tell and that is what leads the way. We all tell our gospel stories in such a beautiful way here at LCM through so many different ministries. Not only were there amazing stories told in this last year, but I cannot wait to hear the stories that are yet to come!
God’s Peace & Blessings,
Pastor Dave Elliott