I’ve been doing an intense study on the issue of discipleship. In past posts (which you can take a peek at on your own), I have attempted to spell out issues such as “discipleship as journey of maturity”, the identity of a disciple, and who/what a disciple is/does. Just the other day, I was doing my “usual” blog browsing when I came across this ‘strategy’ of disciple-making…story-telling. Now, the “bible as story” is, again, something on which I have posted in the past…but these suggestions have more to do with US telling the story of the bible versus us understanding the bible as story.
The Bible Storying strategy is based upon a couple of assumptions: first of all, even followers of Jesus don’t know many of the stories of the bible. So to understand the text well enough to “tell it” (oral tradition is a time honored methodology of passing on truth) not only cements the story in a person’s heart but also gives the listener an opportunity to hear the story without a “formality” of a text-based reading. In addition, it gives the storyteller HUGE flexibility in sharing the story in ways that can be effective and consistent relationally. Lastly, it's based on the reality that "even if people like learning through reading, reading by itself is not the best way to move information from the head to the heart." It has been shown time and again that stories can change lives..
I would suggest you start by “bible story telling” in the context of some of your other relationships with followers of Jesus. Maybe you can do this at a bible study, adult class, small group, or some other gathering a people who love and follow Jesus. Here's how the one blogger said it could work…
1. Choose a story from the Bible that is relevant (Old Testament history books, the Gospels, Book of Acts, etc.)
2. A group facilitator learns one of the stories or assigns someone else to learn the story. (Learn so the story is told without reading it, but not word for word.)
3. While the two storytellers tell the story, the rest of the group can read along to see if the storytellers have missed anything.
4. When finished, the storytellers will rebuild the story, pointing out anything that was missed.
5. The facilitator can ask someone else in the group to tell the story back to everyone without reading. (in this instance, don’t tell anyone who will be asked ahead of time so everyone pays attention during the storytelling process)
6. Once the story has been told, rebuilt, and told again, the facilitator can ask questions to draw out the important truths in the story. For example:
- What new things did you discover in the story that you did not know before?
- What did you learn about God?
- What did you learn about people?
- Which person is most like you in the story?
- What will you take away from this discussion?
- What will you do with what you have learned?
7. Lastly, ask each person to identify application points for their own life.
You will quickly discover that you don't have to be an expert to tell a story. By simply telling the story, asking questions, and looking for application, you can see how the Spirit can use these stories in your everyday life.