STORY: An Interview with Ian Cron

I’ve always had a special affinity for creatives, storytellers, dreamers and artists.  It’s rather odd because I’m wired quite the opposite in regard to the stereotypical identities by which we tend to be labeled.  But I think my passion has so much to do with seeing peoples’ God-given gifts come to life.  The creative types often have to risk the practical, responsible tug of everyday life to take a risk on pursuing their dreams and gifts.

That’s why I’m such a fan of STORY.

STORY is a conference for the creative class. The theme for 2011 is IMAGINE NATION which speaks to the power of spiritual imagination. In Exodus 35, the artist of Israel came together to build a dwelling place for God. They carved poles, fashioned gold, and constructed curtains “with cherubim woven into them by expert hands.” The job of these artists was to envision the kingdom and use their gifts to heighten peoples spiritual imaginations. An Imagine Nation.

I’m thrilled to participate in a blogging tour leading up to this event and even more excited that I get to share this interview with Ian Morgan Cron, one of the speakers at STORY this year.

An Interview with Ian Cron

What is your best personal definition of a STORY? 

We defend ourselves against ideas that we fear will challenge or deconstruct our assumptions about the way the world is. A story is a sly device that bypasses our defended intellects and sneaks a new of seeing the world into our hearts through the backdoor of our imaginations. A great narrative also calls forth what is best inside us. We are beautiful, loved, and from time to time even noble. Stories are able to carry the heavy freight of those messages in a way that plain old discursive language can’t. Is it any wonder Jesus told so many of them?

What is one way you have found to grow or engage your imagination? 

We’re taught from a young age that our value is tied to our productivity so we feel guilty when we aren’t doing something profitable. Creative’s feel this unrelenting pressure to be innovative or clever and to create things that are useful. The imagination is shy. It will hide if it’s driven too hard. The imagination awakens when we pursue the pointless, “leap to our leisure” with reckless abandon, shamelessly do nothing, play games (especially with children) where the point isn’t to win but to be together, go to parties to laugh and dance not to network, read a book because its beautiful not because it provides cool quotes for our next presentation. A utilitarian mindset will kill a creative soul.

In your experience what is the best nontraditional form of STORY telling you have seen, heard, or experienced?

The best unconventional storytelling I have experienced has been at AA meetings. It’s unconventional because the addict’s very survival depends on his or her willingness to tell their life story without edits or revisions. You have to tell your story secrets and all or die. I am always brought to silence when someone tells his or her life story in a meeting and leave it all on the field. It’s sacred.

If you could encourage a creative person with one tip on being imaginative what would you tell them? 

Meditate twice a day for twenty minutes. We have 5,000 years of religious testimonies and numerous neuro-scientific studies from leading researchers coming out that support this idea. I might talk more about this at the conference so I’ll shut up now.

What is one thing you are excited about sharing with the tribes attending STORY 2011? 

Keep it sacred. Don’t settle for clever.

If you’re a writer, filmmaker, artist, performer, entrepreneur, church leader, communicator, or other type of creative, you won’t want to miss STORY 2011.  Register here or if you need a little more information visit the STORY site.

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  • Sam Mahlstadt August 31, 2011  

    “Keep it sacred. Don’t settle for clever.” I love this!

  • FaithVillage August 31, 2011  

    “A utilitarian mindset will kill a creative soul.”  May we all have ears to hear.

  • Joe Bunting August 31, 2011  

    Thanks for this interview, Jenni. I’m excited to meet him at Story. My favorite line:

    “the addict’s very survival depends on his or her willingness to tell their life story without edits or revisions.”

    So powerful.

  • Sarah August 31, 2011  

    Thanks so much for participating @Jenni! 🙂

  • Kurby Bryant December 27, 2011  

    I read a lot of stories by Ian Cron. I can say it really touches ones life and soul. Great writer. 

  • Sharon Cruise January 5, 2012  

    I read one of his inspirational books and learned a lot from it. It’s best selling.

  • Carpet Cleaning Rockville January 11, 2012  

    ian Cron has one of the best book ever published. In fact, I had all of the books of him. 

  • Carpet Cleaning Tampa January 11, 2012  

    Ian comes at you from a lot of places. He’s not going to be forced into the box of anyone’s convenient theological labels very easily. Some of our TR friends will find his list of influences too far beyond the predictable for them, but many of you will be inspired to look into how Ian brings it all together in his preaching and church.

  • Carpet Cleaning Miami January 16, 2012  

    Ian Cron, author of Chasing Francis, has posted an interesting article on Christian mysticism. Like me, Ian follows Karl Rahner in emphasizing the ordinariness of the mystical life.