Trevin is speaking my language.
I believe Buzzfeed very nearly ruined blogging when it mastered the ugly art of clickbait—articles whose foremost purpose is to generate revenue. The distinctive feature of clickbait is that it is defined by its headline rather than its content. The idea is to create a “can’t-help-but-click” headline even if the article it leads to is inaccurate or unhelpful or almost impossibly stupid. It uses headlines with provocative adjectives—stunning, amazing, unbelievable, shocking. It promises that it will blow your mind, that you won’t believe your eyes, that it will revolutionize your life. It offers “8 Shocking Somethings that Will Something Your Something.” You know it when you see it, but somehow can’t help but click it.
As storytellers, the cast of Critical Role are masters, not because they studied the craft of storytelling or anything like that (though, as actors, they might have), but because they are committed to being honest. Each member of the cast controls one character; characters that have vivid backstories, dynamic personalities, individual goals, and differing abilities. As they play, they are careful to make decisions that are in line with their character and that match the character’s goals, longings, hurts, fears, and so on. In short, they act like real people. This requires a tremendous amount of empathy. In fact, studies have shown that D&Dpromotes empathy for this very reason, as players are urged to make decisions for their character based on what that character thinks, feels, fears, and more—not how they as a player want things to go. What this means is that things won’t always go well for the group as a whole and the story doesn’t often follow the traditional story arc that we’re used to in books and movies today… which means it is so much better.
Don’t view discipleship as a separate activity from your church engagement and involvement. Every sermon is an opportunity to engage Scripture. The songs that are sung and the prayers that are prayed in the weekly gathering are critical elements for shaping faith. Bring these things up in conversation as you invest in others. You will reproduce either your love or indifference in those you disciple. Make sure you set them up for a lifetime of discipleship by demonstrating a love for and commitment to the local church.