The Death of Story



Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to mourn the death of Story. As you may have heard, it’s kaput—or, at the very least, terminally ill, wracked by videogames, wikis, recaps, talkbacks, YouTube, ADD, and the rise of a multiplatform, multipolar, mashup-media culture.

That’s what Wired Magazine reported last week that “storytelling” is dying. I hope it has contracted Swine Flu.

I can agree with most of their feature article. I believe with all the advancements in technology and it’s easy of use has made the communication landscape flat bringing the world a lot closer.  And paradigm shifts in our society today are off the hook almost as much as the industrial revolution. Lines are being blurred and coming from a journalist, ethics and values are being ignored in this new media age.

I don’t believe the power of story is dying. I believe story is a live and doing quite well. However, I do believe we had reached a cross-roads with our friend. Our friend, the word, Story and it’s definition. Good old Webster’s says story means:

sto⋅ry [ˈstor-ē] –noun
1 archaic a: history 1 b: history 3
2 a: an account of incidents or events b: a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question c: anecdote ; especially : an amusing one
3 a: a fictional narrative shorter than a novel ; specifically : short story b: the intrigue or plot of a narrative or dramatic work
4: a widely circulated rumor
5: lie, falsehood
6: legend, romance
7: a news article or broadcast
8: matter, situation

I believe story or storytelling is evolving and going through a metamorphosis. I believe it’s an important and fundamental art behind which has significantly contributed to our morals and cultural values. What is story and or storytelling changing into? What may the new definition be? I believe it will evolve into whatever the times dictate.

I encourage you to join the conversation at STORY; it is a first-of-its-kind experience for communicators of the Gospel – the greatest story ever told. Can you imagine the conversation? I can and believe it will be unbelievable. You will not want to miss this event Wednesday, October 28 at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois. Speakers include Donald Miller, Nancy Beach, Dave Gibbons, Ed Young, Stacy Spencer, Chris Seay and Mike Foster. A day of workshops will follow on October 29 at nearby Orchard Valley Community Church, featuring illustrators, designers, scholars, authors and communications experts.

If your the type that needs a little incentive, when you register for the conference you will be entered to win 2 free trips to the Kilns – CS Lewis’ home in Oxford, England. I’ve been there and it’s awesome.

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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