Unlikely, Unexpected Places

I have a soft spot for unlikely, unexpected places in the world.

I lived quite a few years in Tipp City, Ohio which was one of the first wilderness seasons of my life, but also the most revolutionary. Working at an advertising agency after college, I rented an old grist mill in the center of town that had been converted into a theater to host some raucous Friday night outreaches for hundreds of teenagers in the summer.

The experience was life-changes.

Here’s what I think: The worse the place, the greater potential for creativity and redemption.

A few months ago, I blogged about looking for people in “unlikely places” who would partner with STORY to bring an audacious act of creativity or redemption to their communities. Over a dozen people responded, and we’ve been having serious conversations with four of them.

We’re planning to send out film crews this summer. To capture the projects in a series of EVERYWHERE stories.

Like one church that owns a grassy plot in the center of town where they’ll host a pop-up movie night…

The likable high school senior who overcame cancer but wants to do something really special for his schoolmates…

A team that wants to mount a projector and a generator in the back of a pick-up truck to project stories of redeemed people over the broken-down buildings in their community at night.

We’re looking for projects like Cain’s Arcade, Bob Goff’s neighborhood parade, even this flash mob of fans at a rec league hockey game. We want to show the power of creative and redemptive acts in the most unlikely, unexpected places.

If you have an idea for your unlikely community, let me know via email. Would love to hear from you.

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Ben Arment
Ben Arment helps people launch great things. He’s the founder of Dream Year, The Whiteboard Sessions, and STORY in Chicago, and he also wrote a book called Church in the Making. He and his wife Ainsley live in Virginia Beach and have three cowboys, Wyatt, Dylan & Cody.