Two Lies I Battle as a Resident

Jesse Witt Blog

You can apply now to the two-year Story Team Residency Program. We are accepting applications until March 11, 2016. You can learn more about the program and apply here.

My time as a Story Team Film Resident has been such a blessing. I know that the Lord led me to this ministry and I feel affirmation that He is calling me to pursue this work at this point in my life. However, being a Story Team Resident hasn’t been easy, as I’ve had to battle two lies that come from serving—feeling unqualified and feeling self-entitled.

Unqualified

When I first joined the team, I was intimidated by more experienced storytellers. It was hard to think of myself in the same category. Following in the footsteps of the filmmakers who served before me and who serve alongside me still feels absurd. Together, those artists produced stories that have impacted millions of people across the world. The pressure to perform at that level, all the time, is daunting. There are moments when I feel unqualified for serving in this ministry and pursing documentary filmmaking.

To be honest, some of that may be true—I’m not the most talented storyteller on the team, and that is okay. One thing I’ve had to remind myself is that my time as a resident is to learn and be equipped. It has been a time to grow in my craft and in my walk with the Lord.

Self-Entitled

As I grow and establish myself as a true part of the team, it’s funny how quickly my attitude can change from feeling unqualified to feeling self-entitled.

When you’re working on a story, there are many different tasks and responsibilities to carry out—some more glamorous than others. That means there is a good chance that as a resident, you will find yourself doing humbling or menial tasks. For example, while working on the Austin Stone Worship Live album, I did not get to have the job of my dreams. Instead of being behind a camera, I was delegated to being the gear manager—not quite the rock ‘n’ roll status that I would have hoped for. At times, I felt that role was beneath me. I thought that my time could be better spent and that I should get a chance to have more of the credit for what the team was doing.

Pursuing joy, being humble, and doing my work to the glory of God hasn’t come easy in those moments. However, through prayer and my time in the Word, I do see how God has used even the simplest of tasks to sanctify me and develop me, not only as a follower of Christ, but also as a filmmaker. How awesome is it to be able to work with people who want to develop me into a storyteller? How much did I learn from the responsibility of outfitting 10 cinematographers with built-out Canon C300s? Both are incredible opportunities and blessings.

What I Cling To

As gospel-storytellers, we can easily find ourselves in one or both of these positions. We want to produce meaningful work and have the opportunity to spread our wings and create. John 15:5 reminds us that as ministers and storytellers, we need to cling to Christ, alone:

“… Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

While it does take skill and talent to tell a good story, the ultimate way to bear fruit in our work is to first abide in Christ. Our time in prayer and in the Word is an integral part of how we must share stories of gospel transformation. It is through Christ Jesus that all things are possible—not in our own ability.

Jesse Witt

Jesse Witt serves as the Story Team Resident at The Austin Stone, with an emphasis on film making. As an aspiring film maker, he looks to one day document the stories of Christians in foreign lands all across the world. Austin, Texas is serving as a wonderful place to sharpen his skills as a gospel story teller.

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