International (IMB/MNN) — More and more, the art of storytelling is becoming the primary way to transmit detailed information to a crowd.
In developing nations, it is the primary way to get key concepts memorized in a low-literate or illiterate community.
But storytelling doesn’t come naturally, unless you’re Jesus Christ.
Throughout Scripture, He told parables–stories–that were both obvious and thought-provoking. People have been copying His example since then as they share His Words and Truth.
You include emotion, conflict, resolutions, characters, because as the International Mission Board notes, who doesn’t love a good story? The Bible is packed with story after story that’s not only drama-filled, but also shows God’s power and love.
What follows are eight tips to remember:
- Don’t change the Bible’s meaning: Storying doesn’t mean embellishing or adding details. God’s Word is powerful and will speak for itself.
- Put the story in your heart: Ask God to help you apply every story to your life. Pray for the people who will hear your stories.
- Use common language: Sometimes words or ideas in the Bible are hard to understand, especially for cultures that prefer oral learning. Use words everyone can understand, and be sure to explain religious concepts.
- Know the characters: The Bible is full of people who saw God work in their lives in miraculous ways. Bring these people to life in your story.
- Act natural: No one wants to listen to a boring story. So don’t stare at the ceiling or speak in a monotone voice. Just be yourself. Tell the story as if you were talking with a friend.
- Be familiar with the story: Listen to the story, act it out, draw a storyboard — get creative. Do whatever you can to learn the story and be comfortable telling it.
- Tell just enough: If you give too many details, the story is cumbersome and hard to remember. But if you don’t give enough, people won’t understand. Find the right balance for each story.
- Practice: The best way to tell a really good story is to practice–a lot!