Mickey’s Commandment #7: Tell one story at a time

Part 7 in a 10 part series on Mickey’s Commandments as presented by Michael Lingerfelt in a recent conference.

7. Tell one story at a time.

This one really resonated with me.

The Magic Kingdom is a great example of how Disney does this. They use the “utilador” under the main park to get people from area to another. You will never see someone dressed for work in Tommorrowland walking through Frontierland. You can’t even see Frontierland from Tommorrowland. There is one theme in each area, and they have gone out of their way to make sure you only experience one at a time. Part of this relates back to the previous commandment.

They know that multiple stories distract from each other. They know that mixing up stories can confuse people.

I asked a question about this commandment: When you work with very talented people, who have a lot of stories to tell, how do you limit them to just one? If you use the storyboard analogy, it may be that the new story could fit in another time, and the main story progresses. Or it may be that while the new story idea is amazing, it just won’t fit into the overall story line. That doesn’t make it a bad story, just not the right for one.

I see the “storyboard” as the vision for the church, the plot. And the various story lines that come into play as ministries an events, and mission endeavors that help bring that vision to fulfillment. If a “story” doesn’t progress along the main plot, it’s a distraction. it shouldn’t make it past the edit. Not because that story is bad, or worth less than another, but because it doesn’t fit with the plot of the storyboard.

Telling one story at a time helps us keep consistent in our messages. I can’t say that going on a mission trip is the most important thing you can do if I have already said that the most important thing you can do is get involved in a small group. If I am telling the same story, then I am telling people to get into a small group and grow, and then look for ways to serve through local and global missions.

When we are not all telling the same story, we find ourselves in competition for attention. And we are not competing with the world, we are competing with each other.

What is the purpose of your local body? What has God called your church or ministry to do? Do it, and keep all your efforts working toward that common goal. Don’t let good things distract you from the things God has called you toward.

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