Last blog post, we uncovered a way of sharing the Gospel that connects with 70% of the world, and instead of hitting straight-up against worldview barriers often leaves people asking for more: Bible storytelling.
So, how do you start telling Bible stories? Here are 4 steps to telling your first one:
1) Read it
– Read the story aloud several times, using more than one Bible translation.
– As you read, start to imagine it unfolding.
2) Craft it
– Change jargon words to everyday words that speak to the heart
– Take out sentences that either bog down the storyline or end up making the story longer than 2-3 minutes
– Shorten sentences (this’ll come naturally when you practice telling it. When we talk we often speak in shorter sentences than when we write)
– If you think there are elements to the story that will speak into your hearer’s worldview, then make sure you bring them out in the way you tell it.
3) Learn it
– Draw it on 6 story boards, and look at these as you practice it
– Or use a body action for every main action in the story
– Remember you’re not going for word-for-word accuracy, but detail-for-detail accuracy (which is far more doable)
4) Tell it
– Once you tell a story 10 times, it should stick with you for life! Even after 3 times, you’ll relax and start to get into the drama of the story itself.
– Start with telling it to people you’re comfortable with, like close friends and family members.
– Then tell it to a non-believer. Did you try it? How did they respond?
Now you’re ready to begin a whole ministry of Bible storytelling. Try learning a set of stories that connect together in their order or theme. (Here’s a list of stories to choose from). Choose ones that will resonate with your listeners and even challenge their worldview.
If you’re in someone’s home and they like to hear the Bible stories you’re telling, you’re close to planting a church! Get them to invite others, and start a regular time of gathering in that home; tell and learn together a set of Bible stories, and discuss how to respond to them in obedience to God. Many churches have been planted round the world (like Africa and S Asia), just using Bible stories.
In the end our biggest barrier to telling Bible stories might be our own fears or embarrassment. Are we simply prepared to ask someone else: ‘Want to hear a story from the Bible?’. We’re unlikely to get a No.