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My Thoughts on STORY 2010

Finally getting a chance this morning to decompress my time at STORY this past week…

First of all, let me say thank you to Ben Arment for the privilege of being a part of Story again this year. I’m thankful for our friendship and the opportunity to work together on such a unique event. It’s been awesome watching this dream come to pass.

Secondly, this year’s Story was exceptional. It feels to me like Story hit it’s mark in 2010.  In many ways, it feels like a new community has been birthed – one that’s made up of diverse, yet like-minded creatives who really want to embrace the call to create and inspire the world around us.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • The volunteers. Amazing.  Seriously.  Every volunteer I came across over those two days complimented and contributed to the environment so well.  Their role was essential and they made it happen.  Thank you for everything you guys did.
  • The opener. Blaine Hogan .  Dude.  You nailed it.
  • The speakers. Loved the eclectic mix of speakers.  Loved how unpredictable their presentations were.  And I loved the fact that many of the speakers were unfamiliar names to me.  That’s how it should be more often IMHO.  (Perhaps TED is on to something? Ha.)  I also thought the mix of practical vs. inspirational was really good.
  • The music. I loved it all.  And trust me, that’s saying a lot.  Kari Jobe was the perfect opener for the event.  Josh Garrels was exceptional (listening to “Lost Animals” album now btw).  And Sons & Daughters made me hungry for more of their music.  Can’t wait to hear their new project.  (BTW…I thought the audio quality/mix in the auditorium was stellar.)
  • The venue. Well of course I’m partial to last year’s venue – The Paramount in Aurora – but Park Community Church in Chicago was a great #2!   Loved the intimate feel of their auditorium.  And of course, the view through their auditorium windows is just sick.  Wow.

A few other thoughts…

  • Dan Allender – perfect choice as the first presenter.  Loved his demeanor.  Made me want to attend Mars Hill Graduate School.
  • Charlie Todd – loved hearing how he does what he does.  He stretched me.  And made me laugh.
  • Richard Walter – Chairman of graduate program in screenwriting at the UCLA film school for more than 30 years.  Are you kidding me?  What a privilege to hear from him.  Loved his stories.
  • Jason Fried – loved his contrarian ideas on organization and productivity.  And kudos to Tim Schraeder on a great interview!
  • Gary Dorsey – inspired by where he’s taking his art.  And if it wasn’t for his cool tattoos I’d be a little upset about how much sleep I lost that night after watching his Thief in The Night clips.  Oh the memories…
  • David Wenzel – looking forward to going back and listening to David’s talk again.  What a story…  Loved his honesty and authenticity.  It’s good to listen to people who are living with a different perspective towards life than the average person.
  • Wesley Hill – so glad Wesley came to Story.  I think he was an integral part of what made this year’s experience what it was.
  • John Sowers – loved interviewing John.  It was very clear to me that John is doing what he was created to do.  You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.
  • Leonard Sweet – great way to close out Story.  Couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all the ideas that were hitting me during his talk. Loved this quote, “Too many churches are stuck in a Gutenberg mindset in a Google culture.”

Congratulations Ben and everyone involved on a tremendous STORY experience! Can’t wait to see where this goes in the months and years ahead.

How about you? Were you at Story?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, ways to make it better, etc… Who are the creative voices you’d love to hear from?