Before I was a pastor I was a blues singer. While many of my Christian colleagues locate their cultural roots in the church, I grew up in clubs, concert halls and bars. Some of my closest friends grew up listening to preachers. I cut my creative teeth playing in bands that laid down a groove so wide you could drive a truck through it.
Like a prodigal son returning to the church I’ve decided to go home to my roots.
The problem with the ministry business is that relatively few non-Christians will give you the time of day. That’s why influential Christians like Bono, Carrie Underwood, The Jonas Brothers and even Justin Bieber don’t “minister” they entertain. They compete head to head with the best show business has to offer and they also happen to be followers of Jesus.
Since I spend the better part of my time helping people craft their story and expand their influence I decided to turn this hobby into a production company Jim Henderson Presents. My motive for starting this business is simple – Take Jesus Public. I want to do it using the standard entertainment vehicles like TV, music, social media, interviews as well as a new genre of entertainment I’m helping to develop that I’ll tell you more about.
Sociologist James Davison Hunter makes this observation “the most profound changes in culture can be seen first as they penetrate into the linguistic and mythic fabric of a social order” and the people who usually instigate linguistic and mythical shifts are not preachers or academics but entertainers and artists. Patrons and others drive the idea forward but musicians, poets and creative conceptualize the new paradigms. Hunter says it this way; “at every point of challenge and change we find a rich source of patronage… Often enough alongside these elites are artists, poets musicians and the like who symbolize, narrate and popularize this vision”
This is why I’ve decided to get back into show business. I want to influence the larger cultural conversation about spirituality that’s currently being shaped by entertainers such as Oprah, Chopra, Palin and Beck.
My first show is the most ambitious production I’ve ever undertaken. Its called Stories From The Shack
In just a little over thirty days Jim Henderson Presents, is partnering with Gary Clayton Entertainment and James L Rubart to present Stories From The Shack .The Show celebrates over 100,000 stories people have sent Paul Young after reading The Shack, stories of profound loss, pain, forgiveness and hope.
“I have just finished reading The Shack and am still welling with the emotion of it. Your book touched something very foundational in me something I cannot language to explain. I have no belief in God. I have no sense of God’s love or presence but I want to. So much of what is in your book resonated deep in my soul. You painted a picture of love and acceptance that you labeled God. I crave the love and acceptance, but know not how to find it.
“I just wanted to say that your book is amazing and that I found myself crying at many times during it. My dad died when I was 9. I was depressed and mad at God. I felt God had betrayed me, but when I read your book my whole perspective changed. Your book showed me that God never left me in the midst of my “Great Sadness”, instead he was there with open arms. I am trying to start a book club of “the Shack” because I can’t just keep this amazing book and my emotions that go with it to myself. I am always the quiet one, who never really shows his faith, and never shouts for God. But you’re book changed that. Many people at my school are beginning to purchase or read the book.”
Stories From The Shack highlights several stories like these to tell The Story of The Shack. But what’s really exciting is how we tell these stories. I call it Interactive Spectacle Art
Stories From The Shack is not a film, play, author reading or conference. It’s a combination of elements normally associated with Cirque Du Soleil and Charlie Rose like interviews – which is why I call it Interactive Spectacle Art.We’ve recently discovered that our show is part of a new emerging genre of live staged events. Imagine if in the middle of a Cirque performance you could interact with the performers and “eavesdrop” on conversations between the creators and actors. That’s the kind of creativity you’ll experience at Stories From The Shack. I think of it as Style meets Substance.
What’s really cool is you can bring the whole family. Kids over the age of ten will love it. They will be “wowed” by the aerial artistry (yes people flying around overhead), expressive dance, awesome music and spectacular stage sets. And did I mention Danny Gokey of American Idol fame? Danny will not only perform several times he will also share how The Shack helped him through the painful loss of his wife.
We will be taking this show to four cities in May and June. Opening night is May 8th in Seattle on (It’s Mothers Day so Bring your Mom/Wife) at The WAMU Theater at Quest Field.
If you have enjoyed anything I’ve done or feel like you want to support me I need you to do 4 things for me right now.
1) Facebook and Tweet this link to your friends and fans
2) Buy a ticket for yourself (and your mother or wife) and come to the show in Seattle
3) If you don’t live in Seattle buy a ticket to one of the other shows on the tour
4) After you have done that please donate to our Kickstarter campaign so we have gas to get to the other three cities on the tour