creative canvas

Sunday Morning – Donald Miller NYWC 2009 | Sunday, 22 November, 2009

Again, some of my notes from Donald Miller’s talk on Saturday morning. These are very raw and I simply copied/pasted from my notebook. So I apologize if it’s a bit jumpy and choppy. ENjoy!!!!!

Sunday morning – Donald Miller

as a youth leaders, what if you saw your job as a directory of a story?

it takes a specific kind of character to tell a meaningful story

– not a perfect character

– not a self righteous character

– has to sacrifice themselves to the benefit of other people (Michael Scott buying Pam’s painting)

– success is not the most compelling ingredient to a compelling or meaningful life

– character is only known by what they actually do: not our words, intentions, dreams, or who we wish we were. Only what we do. (show don’t tell)

Every sunday we are doing that with God.

– He’s telling us about himself, and we look at it and say, whats in it for me. if we are teaching the bible that way, its not what God intends.

What does the character want? if you don’t know 30 minutes in, they are mudding up the story

– what we want is ruining our story

– the youth of culture are targeted to live lame (I want a Volvo) stories.

– Don’t simply “advertise” Jesus

Wwe have 360,000 churches around the country. What would it look like if each church started some sort of mentoring program to reach out to the kids who are fatherless? How would ha change our culture?

In a story, you must have:

/  conflict. there must be some sort of conflict

/  what does a lack of conflict do? we tell boring, uninspiring stories that are pointless and boring to everyone around us.

/  we love conflict in movies, we hate conflict in our lives



/  existed before the fall of man

/  in the garden of eden there was conflict

/  god looks at adam and sees that he is lonely. what is lonely? a negative action. lonely is wanting something that you don’t have.

/  Adam was not fulfilled by God. He was not completed by God.

/  God doesn’t immediately fix adam’s problem. he tells adam to name the animals

/  THAT SUCKS! that’s not going to help

/  scene of adam and eve gets it’s beauty b/c of the conflict. if he wasn’t struggling, no beauty

Heres what god did with adam:

/  creatd protaganist

/  made port. go through conflict before he got what he needed

/  god guided adam through narrative experience to teach him: conflict exist.

/  why? conflict isn’t bad. we got conflict was bad from movies, commercials. etc.

/  what adam does not do? he doesn’t feel sorry for himself, he doesn’t’ question the love of God,

/  conflict is ok. hurts the most: the thought that you’re not supposed to experience it. YOu think there’s these utopian expirence that your supposed to experience and you miss out on.

/  we’ve learned that conflict: the only way a human being develops is thru pain. joy doesn’t change people. pain changes people.

/ conflict will not leave your life. you can’t avoid it.

/  the only thing you can do is change your attitude towards it. god has given us an opportunity to redeem the things that are bad and that can help other people.

/  the only way you can value something is when you feel pain for it.

The Fall of man

/  Act 3: when a single actinos resolves everything. makes everything great.

/  exists b/c its true to human experience? no, our conflict doesn’t end. we will take it to our grave

/  this effects us in hard ways and we can’t reverse it.

/  what do we do with the conflict? 3,000 times a day  you are convinced that there is something that can help you, fix you, make you better. this filters into everything and jesus becomes a product we must sell that can “fix” people.

/  you are not gonna ever be the person that God designed you to be. You can’t be until you reach the feast of the King in heaven. and you walk around naked and don’t even know it. 🙂



  1. Thanks for posting this. I found your blog through and search and glad you posted this.

    had a friend that was at this session and loved it as well.
    Thanks for the notes, I am going to be reviewing them and learning from a youth standpoint as well as a mentor standpoint.

    I saw him about a week ago and loved what I heard and learned a ton.

    If you want to check out some stuff that I am doing and blogging feel free:

    Comment by klreed — Sunday, 22 November, 2009 @ 10.04 pm

  2. Thanks for the comment! I am glad you found this useful and helpful. Would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to mentor students from the church. I don’t think it’s a “program” or there’s “one type that works” but it needs to be discovered for each community for themselves. thoughts??

    Comment by Dane — Monday, 23 November, 2009 @ 1.36 am

  3. Dane, would love to chat with you about this sometime soon.
    I am in the middle of my project and research and would love to hear what you have to say from your experience.

    If you are interested here is an interview I did with DJ Chuang that you can check out:

    But would love to chat with you if you got some time

    Comment by Kyle Reed — Monday, 23 November, 2009 @ 9.23 am

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