Being a Parable-Maker

2008 Echo Conference


We’re called to communicate the gospel to our culture in its own language. And yet as culture changes rapidly, we often stay married to old approaches of communicating truth. In this 48 minute session from the 2008 Echo conference, Mark Steele explains how it is up to us to foster creative and authentic artists committed to reaching the world. Mark is a speaker, comedian, film writer/director and Founder/President of Steelehouse Productions. He is also the author of Flashbang, Half-Life/Die Already, Christianish and Ounce of God

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your calling. 


Mark defined being a parable-maker as those who "speak the language of the people with the stories of the people, with an understanding of the culture and an understanding of where the people are at. Speaking their stories in such a way that connects with them so deeply, that they truly absorb and understand the way the Kingdom of God works." Are you a parable-maker? How?
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Mark shared his experience with roller blading that ended in falling and failure when the path turned to gravel. He used that story to illustrate how we can communicate well, but when the path changes, we need a different "vehicle." Have people changed in the way they respond to the way you're communicating your art? Are you still trying to communicate in the same way but the path has changed?
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How are you communicating the gospel that overcomes the "world's" perspective of Christians? Are you relevant? Are you authentic? What is working and what is not?
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Mark read from Exodus 35 and 36 where God charged Moses to build the tabernacle—the first artistic endeavor that would explain who God is. God gave Moses every single detail needed. Mark talked about how everybody wanted to help but God gave Bezalel and Oholiab the ability build and teach others how to do it. Only those with skill were allowed to build the tabernacle. 

Consider those on your artistic team. Are they on your team because they want to or because they can help effectively help communicate the gospel with the skill they have? How is it affecting your ministry? How is it affecting the person who cannot accomplish the task? Consider your own skills and abilities. Is there anything that needs to change?
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Mark talked about how God has a different intent for everyone in their skills, possessions, time and talents. How are you encouraging people to take what they know or have and use it to glorify God? How does that fit into the context of your team or ministry?
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Remember that God gave Moses all the details for the tabernacle and he surrendered the knowledge to those who could carry it out. He did not seek the fame and honor. How are you following the lead of Moses?
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Mark said, "we serve the greatest creative of all time (God) and we're giving him a bad name." The only people who can reach artists are other artists who have a deep passion for the gospel and excellence. How can you use your skills, talents and abilities as an artist to reach the unreached artists?
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Mark talked about the "ten stations" or steps that describe how close people are to following Christ and asked why most of the "Christian art" goes for the people who are closest to God and where is the art for those who are farthest from God? How do you answer that question? Who do you aim your artistic art toward?
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Mark used the very funny story of his children and bedtime to illustrate that the most important factor of our art is not skill, but surrender. Are you "acting" like Charlie or are you rough like Jackson? How can you bring more authenticity to your art? How can your brokenness bring others to Christ?
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You are not broken pieces. You are one piece of a broken puzzle.  As the Lord is real in your life, your calling is to really discover what your piece is, what your story is. Your skill is not the answer. It's not about you. You are a missing piece of the grander puzzle. God has called you to open up your story—to use your openness, humility, and truth to find out how your piece fits into the bigger puzzle. Our Christ-filled, mistake-laden journey is what God requires of us to make his name known. Be excellent with the responsibility of your story.


For information or to purchase tickets to experience next year's Echo Conference live, go to echoconference.com.