Thursday, July 16, 2009


Q is a conference held every year for church leaders interested in finding ways for church to influence culture. The conference invites speakers who know something about culture or who happen to have done something big to influence our world, like Blake Mycoskie with TOMS Shoes, and Catherine Rohr who founded Prison Entrepreneurship Program. In the words of the Q website:

"Q is a gathering where church leaders and cultural influencers from the fields of business, politics, media, education, entertainment and the arts are exposed to the future of culture and the church’s responsibility to advance the common good in society."
Now the Q website features videos of some of their speakers. They're all stimulating and thought provoking.

Here's one I've listened to twice, because the ideas resonate truth:

Narrative Expressions by Donald Miller, author

In order to make a good story, you need conflict. If our lives are boring, depressing, pointless, maybe we need to find something bigger than ourselves to be a part of, to give our "story" a point. If we live mediocre lives, we're just a background character in someone else's story.

Towards the end, Miller tells the story of a friend of his whose teenage daughter is dating a loser and living in rebellion. The friend is at a loss to know how to get through to her. Miller suggests that the story she's living makes her the heroine, adds drama in which she is the star. He tells his friend that he should find a way to make the story he has to offer even better than the one the boyfriend offers. So his friend researches for a few weeks, then presents his family with a situation in a third world country where some kids need an orphanage or they'll die. Then he tells his family that it's up to them to figure out how to provide an orphanage for these kids before any more of them perish. The family takes up the cause, the daughter included, and in the process she drops her loser boyfriend for this better story in which they are all true heroes.

I wonder how that perspective can help in day to day parenting? Can challenging kids to throw themselves into doing what's right help keep them from sinking into mischief and squabbles? Also, I need to find the kinds of stories that will inspire them to be heroes by doing right. I know, I know that the kinds of books I read growing up formed my perspective of the kind of person I wanted to be.

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