The Red Letter Disciple Episode 5

005: Peter McGowan on What The Church Today Can Learn From Disney

What story is your church or life telling? Story is the thread that knit the entire history of the world together. Peter McGowan has dedicated his life to helping people tell their own stories in order to ultimately tell the greatest story of Jesus. 

Season 1 of The Red Letter Disciple Podcast could not have been possible without our friends from The Giving Church. Helping more than a thousand churches raise more than a billion dollars for kingdom dreams to come to fruition, do not let financial lids limit what God can do through your church or ministry. Go on over to and download a FREE PDF for how to grow your church’s giving!

Resources mentioned in the episode: 

Aimee Semple McPherson

Harry Potter author reveals books’ Christian allegory

Mariner’s Chapel

Most pastors cannot produce more than 35 good sermons in a year (and only about one-quarter of those will be really good.)

Plain Joe

Storyland Studios

Steamboat Willie

YouVersion Bible

Key insights from the episode:

Peter McGowan

Story is not just oral or written tradition, it’s a broader vocabulary of design and interaction. – Peter McGowan

The Basic Idea: storytelling needs to be 1) emotional storytelling, 2) special storytelling, and 3) interactive storytelling. – Peter McGowan

The suspension of disbelief is what made Jesus a powerful storyteller. – Peter McGowan

Story is not some new marketing buzzword we just came up with; throughout human history, it’s been led by the storytellers. Peter McGowan

The creator of the universe comes to this earth, he could have written the whole new testament, and the only thing he wrote down was something temporary in the dirt.Peter McGowan

Steve Jobs invented the iPhone with a storyline of being able to do all of it without a keyboard. – Peter McGowan

Elon Musk is a modern-day storyteller the church should be listening to right now.Peter McGowan

I don’t want to go back to the way we did things pre-Covid. – Zach Zehnder

The church is the only organization that does a new content service every week but it is a hamster wheel that burns them out.Peter McGowan

So many churches think stewardship is saving everything they have and making every dollar stretch. We’re called to take risks and have that return on investment.Peter McGowan

Peter’s Challenge of the Week: Ask a family or close friend a story or memory they have about the two of you. Why is that their favorite memory?

Lead yourself (and your church) to be more like Jesus. Red Letter Challenge

For so many Christians, the discipleship process isn’t very clear.

They know they need to go to church, pray, not sin, and maybe attend a small group. While these are great things, they don’t outline a clear path leading people to live more like Jesus. 

We’d love to introduce you to the 40-Day Red Letter Challenge.

When you and your church take the challenge, you’ll have a clear 40-day discipleship path that will help you master five key areas of discipleship.

You can learn more about the challenge here!

Some not-so-key insights:

Right after 9/11 is a great time to start a company. – Peter McGowan

Next time Peter talks to Marvel, he’ll pitch the idea: Superhero with Red Sequins. 

Peter McGowan is one of maybe 3 on planet earth that started as an IT guy and moved into design and storytelling. – Chris Johnson

The BLOB was actually made by Christian filmmakers, it was going to be a Christian allegory. – Peter McGowan

60% of people resist change no matter what. – Peter McGowan

The only people that create new weekly content are the church and the WWE.Chris Johnson

Watch the entire season for free: 

We’ll be uploading every episode of season one of The Red Letter Disciple on our YouTube Channel. If you aren’t subscribed already, you can do so here!

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