Filmmaking & The Power of Story

by Jeff Haanen

At our 2015 event “Media, Marketing & Storytelling,” a group of marketers gathered to hear from filmmaker T.C. Johnston, Executive Director of the Gratis 7 Media Group, about filmmaking and the power of story.

T.C. describes the moment when his interest in filmmaking crossed God’s call on his life. On a trip through Africa with Pastor Rick Warren, a passing comment changed Johnstone’s life. Johnstone described what Warren said and the impact it has had on his career:

“[Pastor Warren explained] The big question you need to ask about your life, is ‘What is in your hands?’ and I remember sitting in the back of the room and I was holding a camera, and I felt like the Lord told me, ‘This is what I am going to use in your life.’ That was the biggest turn for me, when I knew that what I was doing was not an accident…

I strive to tell stories that move people to be participants in what the gospel is all about…Filmmaking is my pulpit. It’s the place where I can create a dialogue. In Matthew (The Parable of the Soils), it talks about how stories create a heart of readiness and readiness is receptivity…”

Watch the full interview to learn more about Johnstone’s artistic journey. As you watch, ask yourself:

  • What (roles, resources, responsibilities) has God placed in your hands?
  • How could your professional life reflect elements of God’s story?
  • How can your interactions with others encourage a receptivity to the gospel?



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Jeff Haanen

Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.