Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I Like Best About Bible Story Telling

After the Simply the Story training, Scott asked me, "What do you like best about Bible storying?" And I just started talking and getting passionate. I wanted to share some of the reasons I love oral Bible story telling. 

Anyone can join in

I have been in groups where some of the women don't read, or have had very little education. If I came with a worksheet, or even a study guide for a chapter in the Bible, they would feel excluded. These women would feel inadequate and inferior. But the truth is, God's word is not just for those who can read and write, but for all of God's children! 

Anyone can lead

Yes, we have a training to help people learn how to tell and prepare a Bible story well. And the training is so valuable, but what I love about this model, is that you don't need to have any education or degree or status to be able to tell Bible stories. And honestly, more people can be reached. If only the educated could be the ones sharing stories, many people could never be reached. There are socioeconomic realities. People are more comfortable with people who are more similar to them in lifestyle. Anyone can learn to lead these stories. It it not only the seminary graduate who pass the Bible stories on, but also the part time pastor, or the woman who works in the market, or the man who works in the fields, or the mother who is at home with kids. And each of these people has a different community to reach out to. They each have an audience that they can reach better than others. I LOVE that Bible stories can be lead by anyone and therefore reach more groups.

Once you know a story, you can pull it out easily

Unlike sermons I have prepared, which I spent hours preparing and have lots of notes, a story can be told anytime and anywhere. We say, "I have that story in my heart pocket." It's a way of saying that I really know that Bible story and it doesn't take much to be able to share it again and again. On more than one occasion, I have been with a group and someone referred to a Bible story. I was able to tell the story on the spot and could even remember the questions I would use to help listeners find truths. 

You don't need anything

I love that you don't need your Bible with you, (although it is good to have so that people know that your story really is the Word of God). You don't need your study guide or your sermon notes. You don't need a table, chairs and pens and paper. You don't even need an hour. You can tell a story and ask a few key questions in 5 minutes, or you can sit at a cafe and spend 20 minutes discussing a story, or you can spend 2 hours digging into a story in depth. 


Our group shot after getting our certificates
Really, I just love sharing the Word of God and this is a great way to do it. I have been blessed when others have shared a Bible story with me. I have been blessed as I have shared Bible stories with others. And I LOVE the transformation that comes when people engage the Word of God. If you want to know more, or get connected to Simply the Story, click here


Saturday, July 2, 2016

The BEST Moment in the Training

Last month, I wrote a blog about the Simply theStory training that I got to attend. And in it I talked a little about being in a “tribe” or small group to learn how to learn a story. We learned the Bible story but then we also worked on learning how to ask good questions of the story to learn the truths that are there. As a tribe, we would learn the story then one volunteer would, “take the story to another tribe.”

The best moment in the training was when I got to be a tribe leader. I got to lead my friends through preparing the story, then I got to “go to another tribe” and help one of my tribe mates lead a Bible story. His name is Emmanuel. At the beginning of the training, he was shy and reserved. He seemed almost to not understand. But I quickly saw that he was like so many of the high school students I had taught. He knew all the material, just lacked the confidence to answer.

As a group we encouraged him, and watched him grow. He was the last one to “go to another tribe” and share a story. It took a lot for him. It pushed him outside of his comfort zone. But he did great! I went with him to “coach” him if he got stuck, but really, the only place he got stuck was wanting to tell more and not sticking to the time limit!


Emmanuel telling his story to another tribe
As I worked with Emmanuel, I was so proud. I was filled with joy. God whispered in my heart, “this is how I have gifted you.” I love working with women. I know that God has called me to this ministry, but I also love high school age kids and love seeing them grow. As I am handing the women's bible studies I have been doing, over to Regina and Josephine, I hope to start a weekly time with two high school girls (below). They attended the training, but they are excited to use it to reach others for Christ. 


I don’t know what God will do with this new new ministry, but I am excited to see where it goes. I am thankful that God is continuing to open doors for us here in Kasese, Uganda. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I Learned in the Simply the Story Training

I have been telling Bible stories since our first term in Arua, but just last week I got to attend a Simply the Story training to be officially trained. I was so excited, maybe because it was a sign of my new freedom as I no longer have a baby that needs me. :) But either way, it was great to go through the training.

I learned more than I expected. I knew how to tell a story and the steps of presenting. I knew the general concept of what to do to prepare to tell a Bible story. BUT I learned it so much better and deeper. An illustration they shared in the training was perfect for me. 


"Learning a Bible story and sharing it is like preparing a meal. You need to know the ingredients (story) well. You follow all of the steps. You let it simmer, (you let the story simmer in your mind to see if God will bring new truths to you.). And after you have prepared it well, then you share it with others. If you don't take time to prepare well, then you don't want to share it with others. Take pride and prepare well, so that what you make is wonderful." 

Before the training last week I could make a meal, but it was more like hamburger helper. It fed, and was used, but it was not as wonderful as it could be. Learning the steps to prepare a story well, and really learning a story has helped me so much. I have seen the value in good preparation and I know that it will help those who I share stories with in the future. 

I am now in a weird place, where I have a choice. Do I fall back into the habits of what I know or do I do the hard work to change my story telling to make it better. It is always hard to break bad habits and to create new ones, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have a chance to grow and become better, I don't want to miss that chance.

What about you? What is God teaching you these days? Will you embrace what He is teaching? Will you let Him help you break bad habits and create new ones? Are you up to the challenge? I know you are! And God is ready to walk through this with you :)