Jubilee: “When Work Is Communion” - Joanne Vo

Video / Produced by The High Calling

This video is a finalist in our 2015 Jubilee Video Contest. Way to go, Joanne!


I didn’t choose the people on my team because any of them were particularly talented. In fact, I didn’t choose them at all. They volunteered to work with me to create a story about mercy in our school-wide performing arts competition. After eight years of continual losses, my team thought they were a bunch of losers. As producer, I had to show them that they weren’t.

That Saturday, we talked about what we created: the dozen beautiful intricate cutouts, the elaborate theme song, the lighting and choreography, the story arc, and the characters’ motives. We reviewed each decision as a collective before moving forward. We snacked on clementines, bagels, and coffee from 10 in the morning until 8 in the evening. We worked until it stopped being work and started being communion. That Saturday, we didn’t talk about winning or losing. It was the look on their faces at our final production—the pride and satisfaction—that convinced me of my career choice. I’m going to be a movie producer. Having stood behind a camera since 7th grade, I now see each project as an opportunity to work with God’s people to bring a story to fruition. When my team was focused on the work, using our individual, particular, God-given gifts in harmony with one another, we created something beautiful and honest. We were working the way God designed us to work.

That night, with the judges and our classmates looking on, we forgot about being losers. Our audience forgot it too. They saw our work for what it was: a good story, well-told. We celebrated breaking the eight-year losing streak with our first ever win. But what I remember most from that night is committing my life to telling stories that reflect God’s work; telling good stories well.