We see a lot of missionary newsletters / prayer letters. Some are great. The majority are not so great. The writers don’t tell stories well, and we’re convinced that’s because they don’t put enough thought into the elements that comprise those stories. In “Go Tell It,” we discuss those elements and why they matter.
Our friend Dave Sherman, who teaches missionaries how to raise financial support, likes to talk about monsters. Specifically, he tells trainees to focus their presentations on the biggest, baddest thing that their ministries are trying to defeat.
Great news stories need monsters, too. Maybe it’s a piece of evil that needs to be defeated. Maybe it’s simply an obstacle that keeps the main characters from getting what they want or need. Basically, the monster is conflict – tension that keeps a story moving.
So let’s play a practice round of “Spot the Monster.” I’ll name a movie or TV show, and then the underlying conflict that drives the story.
Desperate criminals and a no-win situation
The Hunger Games
Survival in an unjust system
Pride and self-deception
This year’s Super Bowl
Something’s gotta give (best offense vs. best defense)
The Shawshank Redemption
Injustice and hopelessness
Destroy All Monsters
Monsters. All of them
As journalists or missionaries decide which stories to tell to their audience, a clear sense of conflict – a monster – should drive that decision.