Speaker: Matthew Luhn
Title: Pixar, Storytelling, and Children’s Ministry
  • Pixar believes they can get the best music, animators, etc. but without a good story they have nothing. Story is king.
  • People are storytellers. This is how we reach people.
    • Children are naturally storytellers, but adults tend to forget how.
    • Good stories capitivate people.
  • In children’s ministry, if you want to connect with kids, you have to be a storyteller
Essientials of a great story
  • Main character (hero).
    • All of us see ourselves as the main character of our lives.
    • The reason why we connect with a character in a movie or another story is because we see ourselves as heros on our own journey. When we see the character overcome obstacles, we see ourselves as being able to do the same.
  • Must have a beginning, middle, and end.
    • People have been witnessing a cycle of beginning, middle, and end from the day they were born.
      • Day, evening, night
      • Born, live, die
  • When creating stories, have a clear theme.
    • What do you want to communicate to your audience?
    • When Pixar was creating the movie Cars, they took a trip on Route 66 and heard stories from people along the way. The people they met became characters in the movie.
    • It’s not the destination, but the journey that makes life fun.
    • People want to be left with a message, not just fun.
  • How can you use story to reach kids for Christ?
    • Don’t just give them information, but blend it into a story.
    • Pixar likes to keep things simple when they are developing a story
      • With every movie they create, they must describe it in one sentence (they call this a controlling idea). If you cannot do this, you will leave people confused.
      • Try to be able to describe your story idea in one sentence, before you tell it to kids.
Just like we are born swimmers, and just have to remember how to swim again…the same is true for storytelling.
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GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.