In an excellent article for Psychology Today, Peter Guber discusses the power of story. Story speaks directly to the heart. He uses a great term, state-of-the-heart. If you want to change minds, bypass barriers, and communicate in ways that transcend cultural differences, start with the heart, not the mind.
Non-fiction--facts, charts, description, definitions, etc.--speak to the head, at best. We live in a society that seeks to impart knowledge and change opinions through the presentation of facts. Non-fiction and self-help books abound for practically every aspect of life, business, or ministry. Yet I have to wonder, is all this information fed to the brain making life-changing difference in people's lives?
Don't get me wrong, there is certainly a place for summarized factual information in the education process. In fact, I am currently working on a discipleship curriculum that seeks to communicate the core beliefs that followers of Christ should know and implement in their lives. If I didn't believe this can have an impact, I wouldn't be investing significant time to this project.
We need to be careful not to abandon the use of story, both real and fictional, to communicate complex truths and transform lives. Stop and ask yourself, when is the last time you saw a movie based on the facts of a self-help book?
Our creator God, is the original source of creativity. He created us with that same ability to create. What better way to use that creativity to impact lives and hearts than through the creation of story?
'Till next time!