Bible Storytelling Reflections
Rev. Bruce Cornish
Minister – Townsville Central City Mission
The Bible Story Telling workshop was a significant and very valuable learning experience for me.
I was not aware of the power of a well told Bible Story to open doors in conversations to speak about God in what is a non-threatening way. I have been involved in many programmes and processes designed to share the gospel with people. Over the years such programmes as Christianity Explained, Conversational evangelism, Alpha and many others have been useful in sharing the Gospel. I have particularly used Alpha and found that effective but there is a lot of intentional work by a lot of people to bring that about.
Effective Bible Storytelling provides a 3 minute, one on one, or small group opportunity to spread some of the message of the Good News. This can lead to deeper conversations or not but the reality is that the listener has heard part of the Bible and there is the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to do his work.
Through practical teaching we were able to learn and craft some Bible stories that were not only simple but truly accurate to the Biblical text and became memorable to our listeners and ourselves.
The opportunities this form of story-telling provides for Stable on the Strand is mind blowing.
What if every Christian on the stable team on every night told one Bible story to one person or family? That would mean in addition to the whole Stable event telling the Christmas story, we are all adding to that. We multiply the impact 100 fold or more.
I strongly encourage ALL stable volunteers, whether you plan to be in the Town of Bethlehem or not, to come to the workshop. I believe it will transform your thinking as it did mine and you will see many possibilities.
Have you ever had the opportunity to tell a Bible story to someone but couldn’t remember all the parts of the story? The Bible story telling workshop I recently attended was a great way to learn strategies to tell a Bible story and to remember all the parts of the story.
Even though I am a volunteer at Stable on the Strand and found this workshop very helpful for my role at Stable, I found I have learnt a new way of telling stories to others even outside of Stable on the Strand.
If you have a chance to attend the next workshop, I encourage you to go and be challenged by learning the stories and inspired to share the stories of the Bible to others which reveal who God really is.
Sometimes a person listens and remembers best when we tell them a story which is relevant and told with a good manner. The workshop certainly helped with being able to tell stories in this way.
Minister – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Townsville
Seeking to communicate God’s word effectively to our lost and hurting world is an ongoing challenge for followers of Jesus, and it’s a challenge that needs to be undertaken freshly.
Bible Storytelling is a very good tool for doing just that – communicating God’s timeless word to this generation in a fresh, readily understood and applicable way.
As a Pastor my engagement with people in regard to the Bible is regular and ongoing. To be able to engage with Christians and non-Christians alike with the testimony of Scripture, in a way that is simple, accurate and memorable is vital.
Bible Storytelling – the re-telling of God’s word after Him – enables this sort of engagement. It does so on a level that is easily adapted to everyday conversations; teaching in church settings like worship gatherings and Sunday School classes; at R.E lessons and Kids Clubs; as well as at events like Stable on the Strand where people are coming ‘looking for Jesus’.
My encouragement would be to take every advantage of the opportunities ‘Stable’ presents us to learn how to be better speakers of the truth about who God is and what He’s done by His sending His Son into the world.
Get involved with a Bible Storytelling workshop and you will no doubt be stretched in ways that will cause you to rejoice, struggle, feel as if you’re heading into a vast unknown and be very encouraged in your walk with the Lord all at the same time.
It will be worth all the effort though because God is faithful to His word and His ways – ways of grace, mercy and peace in Jesus.
Lay Pastor – Townsville Central City Mission
My signing up for the workshop, I suppose, was from a sense of ‘duty’ as I am on Stable on the Strand’s Management team. I thought I should go to see what it was all about! Thoughts like ‘How come it takes 4 days to teach someone how to tell a 3 minute story’ were wandering through my mind as the week approached.
God however was moving in His usual amazing way & only a short time prior to the workshop I attended a breakfast at which Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) spoke. As part of his talk he showed a brief video which illustrated how the Gospel was getting out to people who had no written language or were unable to read & write. It showed the use of storytelling! Someone learns a Bible story in language that is understood, then shares that story. The hearer is encouraged to also learn the story & pass it on.
So the premise for Stable volunteers is that many of us will be able to tell a 3 minute (max) aspect of the Christmas story and pass it on to our guests.
Our surveys tell us that 40% of Stable’s guests do not attend church and probably have only a limited knowledge of Jesus’ birth and the background stories. We believe it is now time to renew interest in story telling and listening.
Stable volunteers, I would encourage you to attend one of the workshops and learn the lost art of using the oral tradition of Bible story telling. You will be challenged and surprised at what you can achieve.
Be bold & be blessed!
As a new resident to Townsville, I have been to Stable once. It surprised me there was such an evangelistic opportunity here. My husband and I took our three children last year. We all went home exhausted from running around, eating sugary things and riding the merry go round! We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The idea for Bible Story Telling at Stable on the strand came up after the workshop at Willows Presbyterian in February. How wonderful would it be to give the community the story of Christmas in a conversational manner? No theatrics, just talking to people in a compassionate and respectful way.
The Stable on the Strand Bible Story Telling workshop was a great time of learning and fellowship. I don’t know many events around Australia where so many denominations come together for a common Purpose, united under our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I had completed the workshop at Willows in February, and was asked to come in as staff. I hardly felt qualified, but so fired up about the use of Story Telling at Stable on the Strand, that I decided to give it a go!
I think I may have possibly learnt more than I did in the first workshop. I was able to remember more stories than I had before. Speaking aloud to people improved, as did my confidence. Personally, the biggest boundary for sharing my faith is confidence in speaking to others. An unexpected benefit of this workshop was the confidence I felt in telling a story. Another, was how often a story can fit into an every day conversation. I recently comforted a friend with a story, and have told numerous stories to my children. This makes me want to learn more, because people generally understand the lessons from stories quicker than if they were reading a passage of scripture. I plan on implementing Bible Story Telling into our Homeschool curriculum for this reason.
Stable on the strand is just the beginning. I hope and pray that collectively, we can spread the gospel all over Townsville. Telling a Bible Story is one way of presenting the gospel, or leading into a gospel conversation.
On top of all the benefits of the workshop, we were looked after so well by the team from Mount Louisa House of Praise. Every day they cooked and cleaned up after us, even offering real coffee! What a blessing that was. I thank the catering team for that. All the staff did a great job. Thank you for letting me be part of it. Overall the workshop was a success. It was especially great for me, a new resident of Townsville, to meet Christians that weren’t in my church. I hope and pray that many more people will attend the next workshop so we can tell a larger number of the community the wonderful news, a saviour has been born in Bethlehem, he is Christ the Lord!