I love telling stories! Most of all, I love telling Bible stories. Why? Because they’re packed with excitement and drama, emotion and intrigue; some leave you wondering what happens next, others leave you in no doubt. There’s romance, adventure, battles, and always a hero. They are great stories to tell.
And our world needs to hear them. We can no longer assume the majority of people know any stories from the Bible. They don’t. And it’s through these stories they can discover the God of the Bible. They will see God’s love, hear about God’s judgement, be awed at God’s power and wonder at God’s forgiveness.
Often we are so focussed on preaching, on teaching what we think our audience need to hear, that we forget that the stories are incredibly valuable in themselves.
Storytelling allows our audience to become part of the story.
Sue Thomson, Ten Must Know Bible Stories
Storytelling isn’t preaching, we don’t need to worry about what point we’re making, or what our ‘take home message’ is. God speaks through the Word. God will speak through Bible stories as we tell them. We aren’t explaining the message of the story as we go, we’re simply telling the story, as it’s told in the Bible.
Storytelling allows our audience to become part of the story. It’s memorable, engaging and taps into several learning styles. It’s face to face, not just watching a screen. It works with a small group or a large group of people.
Storytelling engages all ages. It’s often considered a method of communication just for children. But everyone loves stories. Some of my favourite times telling stories have been to groups of teachers, or older people. Everyone can be part of a story.
So please, consider who, this year, you can tell a Bible story to. A Youth Club? Older Persons Group? Your entire congregation? In a school? In your home? Maybe you could replace your usual devotions, ‘God Spot’, All Age Talk or Assembly Lesson with a simple retelling of a Bible Story. Read the story in the Bible, think about its setting, the characters, emotions and dialogue. Find some simple props, consider some simple actions or facial expressions your audience could do, practise in front of the mirror, and then go for it!
Project Leader, Ten Must Know Bible Stories
About the Author
Sue Thomson is Project Leader at Ten Must Know Bible Stories, an initiative of St Columba’s Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. The project (pictured above and below) is using a Go For It Main Grant to explore the Bible in primary school classes; providing teacher training and materials to embed the stories in literacy, numeracy, art, health and science lessons.
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