The Power of Story
Jun 22, 2021 | 5 min read | Gwynne Gardner
“What podcasts do you listen to?” has become a regular question in my life. Nowadays, you can find a podcast on just about anything from self help to comedy, true crime, or a great interview. This medium is what I have come to greatly enjoy.
I love to listen to podcasts while driving, walking, cooking dinner, or doing chores. It’s a great way to consume longer content without having to sit down and watch something. I bet all auditory learners benefit from and are thrilled that podcasts are here to stay. On a walk, I once listened to one of my favorite podcasts and laughed out loud, attracting awkward stares from people around me. Can anyone relate?
A few years ago, I was talking to my friend Kyle Evans, who was the Director of the International Communications Team (the C-Team) at that time. I was mentioning my new-found joy for listening to podcasts, and I commented on a whim, “Hey, do you think Josiah Venture would ever do a podcast?” He responded with, “That’s a great idea, Gwynne. Who do you think would make a good host for something like that?” I hesitated and then said, half jokingly, “Um...me?”
It was at that moment that an idea started to formulate. This was two years prior to me actually joining the International Communications Team, and it felt like a far-off dream that would never become a reality. How would this work? What equipment would I need? What would the podcast be focused around? Would anyone listen?
I joined the C-team in July 2020, almost one year ago, and one of my major goals as the new Social Media Manager was to get the podcast up and running. It wasn’t until April 6th that the “Josiah Venture Stories” podcast actually launched. To get started, it took months of researching how to do a podcast, working with my team to come up with the artwork, and deciding on a fun jingle to use. Then, the day came for me to finally record my first interview.
On October 23rd, I happened to be back in Slovenia because of visa issues (that’s a longer story for another day), and I sat down with my good friend Urh Kolar. We worked together on the communications team in Slovenia. I have known him since he first came to Fusion as an unbeliever and have watched the Lord do a mighty work in his life. I knew his story of transformation needed to be told. You can listen to Episode 3 of the podcast to hear his full story. It truly is inspirational! He literally saw Jesus in a vision. Yeah!
This is why I wanted to start the podcast in the first place—to tell stories of life change from the mission field to inspire and fuel the movement of God across Central and Eastern Europe. I believe that stories are powerful, and when we want to share the gospel, one of the main things we get to include is our own personal story of transformation. God is the best storyteller and author of all time. He takes us on wild adventures, and there are plot twists we could have never even imagined—resulting in glory to Him.
Here are my top three reasons you need to listen to the Josiah Venture (JV) podcast:
- You get to hear amazing God stories that build a connection between you and Josiah Venture missionaries.
- This is a great way to educate yourself through narrative. You will get to know Josiah Venture missionaries, the students JV works with, and God’s movement in Central and Eastern Europe through individual stories.
- It’s entertaining! You will laugh, be encouraged, find out specific ways to pray, be challenged, cry (maybe), and so much more. There’s something here for everyone!
In his introduction to the book of Exodus in The Message, Eugene Peterson writes, “It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, or a precise definition or a catchy slogan, but as a story. . . . Story is an invitation to participate, first through our imagination and then, if we will, by faith, with our total lives in response to God.”
Come and listen. Wash your car and listen. Fold the laundry and listen. Go on a walk and listen. Drive to work and listen. Come and listen to these stories and let them inspire and encourage you to walk with the Lord in a deeper way, live fearlessly, find God, and invite others to do the same.
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