Thursday, May 16, 2013

Can You Tell the Greatest Story?

Christians' confidence is in a God who has revealed Himself in writing.  A shockingly high percentage of the world (and even the US) is functionally illiterate.  (If you're not sure what 'functionally illiterate' means, you probably are.)  This crimps transmission of the message of the Bible from person to person, culture to culture, and generation to generation. 

In recent years Bible storying has become a widely used tool for bridging this education gap.  The Bible contains a large number of stories which contain valuable embedded theological truths.  In storying, people are trained to accurately retell and pass on stories from the Bible, and ask questions to help listeners see the important truths.  Illiterate people are often better at this than literate ones.

My parents and I attended a storying training course in 2011, and it was one of the most enjoyable and intense classes I have ever taken.  In keeping with their goal of helping illiterate people, the training was conducted entirely orally; no notetaking was allowed!  But far from being "dumbed down", the training actually pushed and expanded the known capacities of our brains.  It was a fight to keep our heads above the waters of information, but somehow we all did, and it was beautiful to see believers of varying strengths help each other to finish.  Perhaps the greatest pleasure was the hours of feasting on Scriptures with other brothers and sisters as we heard, learned, told, and taught the great stories of the Bible. 

A word of caution.  Storying, like any tool, can be misused.  (I touched on some of these possible ways in a blog post here.)  We tend to overuse and overemphasize the tools we like or understand.  The storying skills I learned have greatly helped me in both personal Bible study, as well as Bible teaching and evangelism.  But they're not the only skills I use. 

From May 31 to June 2, the same course that we took in 2011 is coming back to my community.  I hope to attend at least part of it.  If you live in the Verde Valley, I strongly recommend you attend.  If you live elsewhere, keep your eyes open for a course in your area.  To my knowledge, the organization that is providing this training, Simply the Story, is the best of the many storying organizations out there.

Download brochure here and the registration form here.

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