If we are to persuade people to our cause, it is helpful that we have truth as our narrative and that we are persuaded by it.

Storytellers for the Kingdom

by Jono Hall
4/21/18 Training and Events

“Controlling the narrative” has become an in-vogue phrase for many in the public eye in recent years. Different political and social factions “spin” their own story based on their own view of the facts, their own worldview, and the values that they hold deeply. The funny thing about this process is that people actually create and believe their own reality based on these narratives even if that narrative is what the other side calls “fake news.”

Even outside of the news media, everyone builds their life based on stories we tell ourselves about God, society, friends, family, and even ourselves. As humans who are created in the image of God, as we look at God’s methods for creation—creating reality by His spoken word—we see that we too can create realities (even false realities) with our words and narratives.

Those who worked with Apple founder, Steve Jobs, marveled that he created a “reality distortion field” with his words, narratives, and charismatic communication. We may not be Steve Jobs, but our communication creates reality. It is important that we understand this truth in the creation of narratives. As humans we are formed and fashioned by stories and narratives, and if we are to persuade people to our cause, it is helpful that we have truth as our narrative and that we are persuaded by it.

What is Your Narrative?

Often in creating video communication strategies, the first question I will ask a business endeavor, a missions organization, or an event organizer is “What is your narrative?” The initial reaction I will get will often be a blank stare. It is only as we carry on our conversation and I probe a little deeper, asking them to explain why I should care about the endeavor in question, that I hear the amazing stories that have led them to this meeting. These are stories that need to be discovered. These are the stories that need to be told.

What is true in marketing and advertising on a micro level is also true on a bigger, macro level in society. There are big ideas that are currently being sold through the stories that are told through movies, TV shows, and social and news media. Stories about our history, our identity, and our society, stories about the nature of humanity, the nature of sin, and the nature of God, stories about love, marriage, and family. I could go on, but I have an angst about many of our society’s narratives. The unease that I have is that most media that we engage with nearly always possess a narrative that takes people away from the truth of the nature of God, His word, and His story. Occasionally we find media which tells stories with a biblical paradigm, but such stories are often silenced, poorly told, or few and far between.

Becoming a Media Messenger

While I am convinced that we need believers in every sector of society to be salt and light and affect those around them with light from heaven, and I certainly appreciate Christians who are doing all manner of jobs in the media and entertainment industry, I am convinced that disciples of Jesus also need to be present in the marketplace of ideas through media. We need messengers with the God-given skills to communicate with clarity and compassion stories that are rooted in a scriptural worldview. I call those who answer this urgent call media messengers.

Why are there so few media messengers? I think because those who are captured by the message of the gospel and want to communicate it are drawn to become preachers, teachers, and writers within the church—now, I love those assignments but want to challenge those who feel called to these areas of communication to think a little deeper about how to best serve this generation.

On the other hand, those who are drawn towards media are often perceived simply as techies or skilled workers but not as ministers of the gospel. I earnestly pray we can meld these two assignments together and see a new generation of messengers of the gospel with imagination and skill to communicate through many different kinds of mediums.

And more than that I encourage those who resonate with this call to check out the Forerunner Media Institute.

How can you answer the call to becoming a media messenger for Jesus?

Jono Hall

position

    Originally from the United Kingdom, Jono has served on the IHOPKC senior leadership team since 2003. Prior to moving to Kansas City, Jono worked with GOD TV for four years. At IHOPKC, Jono has served in many areas, but has principally been responsible for the media reach of IHOPKC, launching the broadcasting and creative media areas at IHOPKC. Jono has also been an instructor at IHOPU in subjects such as church history, basic christian beliefs, and media production. Jono is married to Shari, and they have five children.

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