Practical Theology

Practical Approach to Ministry: Storytelling

With a prior career in Film and Television production, I've learned the power of storytelling. Every culture across the globe has story, a unifying aspect of our humanity that, when used for good, can teach, connect, and inspire communities for just change and personal and spiritual growth.

From a practical theological approach, I witness ministry to be just like a film production. The final story is crafted through the work of producers, writers, directors, actors, lighting technicians, set designers, costume designers, art directors, prop makers, camera operators, continuity supervisors, graphic designers, musicians, editors, publicists, distributors, and the multitude of technical and assistant roles that make a production possible. No one person or department works alone, every single aspect of a film is informed and crafted by a variety of sources. Every decision is molded over and over again as all decisions have knock off effects on the rest of the production. If that is not enough, the final "product" is released to an audience which it informs, and was informed by in its creation. The results are reflected upon, and new projects are started, with every aspect of it being informed by the experiences of all that came before.

So is practical thelogy, informed by and informing the cultures and subcultures it serves. A pastor, educator, or a theologian alone does not make the practice of ministry happen, nor does one skill alone make ministry happen. Contextual stories are crafted in our witness as they are crafted in our Biblical text, through the informed, practiced, and reflected upon involvement of people in community for community, searching for God in our midst.

The Story Trinity
Story Trinity image, "Data Science storytelling" by Brent Dykes, creative commons license