What's in this session?

  • How to tell the story of Jesus
  • Step 1: A character with a desire
  • Step 2: Encounters a problem
  • Step 3: Makes a decision
  • How to tell an everyday story

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

In this video, I’m gonna share with you my three step storytelling formula. Well hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from ProChurchTools.com helping you seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service. We publish new videos just like this one every single week so make sure you hit the subscribe button below and if you like this video, you know what to do. Give it a thumbs up. There’s a book by a man named Christopher Booker. It’s called The Seven Basic Plots, and in this book, Booker explains that really, there are only seven plots that a story can follow. From the earliest tales passed down through oral tradition to the most recent Academy Award winners and blockbusters in the movies, every story can be distilled down to one of these seven basic plots, and I don’t know if you find this interesting, but I do because when I think about storytelling, I’m compelled to think about it as an incredibly personal and complex way of communicating that’s unique and different for every person and situation and while this is true in the sense that the characters and obstacles in stories are unique, the basic story arcs remain the same. To that end, over the years I’ve developed a three step storytelling formula that I teach to churches, and what’s great about this formula is that it’s one of the most simple and basic storytelling formulas that I’ve ever seen, and because it’s so simple, it can be pretty much used everywhere. It can be used from the pulpit during a sermon, from stage during announcements. It can be used on social media, in an email newsletter, during a video, on your web site. Anywhere that communication takes place, this simple three step storytelling formula will come in handy. Ready to hear it? Okay, three simple steps. Step one, a character with a desire. Step two, encounters a problem, and step three, makes a decision. A character with a desire encounters a problem and makes a decision. And again, what I love about this formula is its simplicity. Telling a story doesn’t need to involve a cosmic struggle between good and evil. It can, but it doesn’t need to. A story can simply be a way of talking about the daily events that are happening around us, and because we know that storytelling is the most powerful form of human communication, the more that we can frame what we talk about from stage, in emails, on social media, in videos, on our web sites, the more that we can frame our messages in stories, the more effective our communication becomes, and so we should take the chance to do that every opportunity that we have, and so to that end, I wanna show you how flexible this three step storytelling formula really is and how it can work with the most grand and extravagant stories down to the smallest micro stories. So, let’s start with an extravagant example, the story of Jesus. It’s sometimes called the greatest story ever told, so how does that fit into our three step formula? Well, let’s see. Step one, character with a desire. Jesus comes to our world on a mission to redeem humankind and usher in the new kingdom of heaven on earth. Step two, character with a desire encounters a problem. Well, to accomplish his mission, Jesus must willingly give himself up to be put to death, a death that will come in the form of crucifixion. Step three, our character with a desire encounters a problem, makes a decision. And Jesus agonizes over this decision, right? He cries tears of blood. He asks his father, “Hey, is there any other way?” And yet inevitably, Jesus makes the decision in a demonstration of perfect love to give up his life for the sake of others. So, that’s the greatest story ever told distilled into our simple three step storytelling formula. Let’s now apply this formula on a micro scale. Not every story can be as powerful as the Jesus story, but you can use the exact same progression to share basically anything. Here’s an example. Step one, a character with a desire. This past Saturday, I, Brady, wanted to make a video. Step two, I encounter a problem. The problem was that all of my video gear was in the possession of a friend and he lived more than an hour’s drive away. Step three, time to make a decision. I made the decision to get in my car and drive the three hour round trip to pick up my video gear so that I could make the video I was motivated to make. There you have it, our three step storytelling formula in action on a micro scale, and I share that to show you that everything that’s happening around you can be shared in story form. Ordinary events can be made extraordinary just by framing them through the lens of story. So, to summarize, the three step storytelling formula, it goes like this. Step one, a character with a desire. Step two, encounters a problem. Step three, makes a decision. If you liked this video, make sure you hit the like button below and subscribe for sure to the Pro Church Tools channel. We publish new videos like this every single week helping your church seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service. If you’ve got questions or comments, leave them below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for watching. See you in another video.



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