Every year around this time, I start to get excited about the STORY conference. This is the conference for the creative class. I love the approach Ben takes to create this experience and the inspiration that is shared by attending.

The theme for STORY 2011 is IMAGINE NATION, which speaks to the power of spiritual imagination. In Exodus 35, the artists of Israel came together to build a dwelling place for God. They carved poles, fashioned gold, and constructed curtains “with cherubim woven into them by expert hands.” The job of these artists was to envision the kingdom and use their gifts to heighten peoples spiritual imaginations. An “Imagine Nation.”

I was honored to get to be part of the STORY BLOG EXPERIENCE. In this, I had the chance to interview Ed Dobson. Interviewing Ed was absolutely amazing. It was one of those times when you talk to someone and you know they just LEAK wisdom. I wanted to talk to Ed all day. If you don’t know about Ed or his story check this out. A-Maz-Ing. Here’s the interview:

  • 1. What is your best personal definition of a STORY?

A story involves the mind, the sense, the imagination and produces some sort of change.

  • 2. What is one way you have found to grow or engage your imagination?

Jesus said, unless you become like little children you wont see the kingdom of heaven. So, when I watch a little child, I try to act like a child and that stimulates my imagination. They jump in puddles, dig in sand..they don’t miss the little stuff in life. By thinking like a kid, it expands my imagination.

I was preaching on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, so I started thinking…what would a kid do? So, I brought out two goats and started going through the whole Leviticus passage…unfortunately, we had 3 services so the goats were peeing and pooping between service. At the next deacon’s meeting, they passed a rule that we could not use any more live animals in service. I said I won’t until I do it again, until the next time.

So, it’s thinking like a kid.

Another time I wore a suit and I had a kiddie pool with water in it. The point was are you going to splash around or fall all the way in to God, and I fell in with the suit in the water. So, it’s thinking like a kid would think that hopefully helped the story.

  • 3. In your experience what is the best non-traditional form or STORY telling you have seen, heard, or experienced?

The greatest storyteller I have ever heard was a guy named Hadden Robinson. He was tall, wore a suit and tie, and his ability to captivate your mind, heart, and soul was incredible. He did it without props, overhead, or power points – just with the power of a story. And I would say that was my greatest experience. And you know, he didn’t have shaggy hair and wasn’t dressed in jeans. He was the antitheses of cool, but his story was captivating to both young and old.

  • 4. If you could encourage a creative person with one tip on being imaginative, what would you tell them?

Go through whatever story you are telling and try to think like a kid. How would a kid tell the story?

  • 5. What is one thing you are excited about sharing with the tribes attending STORY 2011?

First of all, I had never heard of the STORY conference, so I have no clue what it’s like. My son-in-law went last year, he is the worship arts director of a large church in Grand Rapids. So my answer is I have no clue, but I am hoping to learn more than I get.

If you’re a writer, filmmaker, artist, performer, entrepreneur, church leader, communicator, or other type of creative, you won’t want to miss STORY 2011. To register visit http://story2011.eventbrite.com/ or if you need a little more information visit the STORY site: http://storychicago.com/

Are you attending Story? Can we hang out? What inspires you most?

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