In 2014 we were introduced to storying. As a family we enjoyed learning stories from the Bible together and sharing them with others.
Far and away the method that we most often use come from a modified version of Simply the Story. Dr. Larry Dinkins condensed their method into a format that we keep coming back to again and again.
Introduce the story – Study the story in its context noting the context setting, characters, plot and structure. The introduction itself should be brief (3-4 sentences) and is used to orient the listener to where the story falls in the broader context as well as highlight anything that needs clarification.
Tell the story – The Bible is closed during the introduction. The actual story begins when you open the Bible and begin with “Now this is the Bible story...” Tell the story in a culturally appropriate way reflecting the passion and drama of the story. Do not try to memorize the text, but internalize the story so you can give it in a oral but biblical accurate fashion. You may briefly lay the Bible down in order to make a point, but at the end of the story you should close the Bible, showing the sacred story is finished.
Retell the Story – Ask a volunteer to retell the story as best they can for the whole group. . An alternative is to find a partner and retell the story to each other as a pair.
Lead through the story – During step 3 you may notice that certain elements were left out. Use this step to fill in what was lacking by asking basic Who What Where When and How questions to make sure the listeners are grasping the basic people, events and geography of the story. Note: by this step everyone has heard the story 3-4
Spiritual Observations - The goal is to design questions that help the listener discover biblical truth or draw conclusions for themselves. These questions highlight how God is working behind the scenes in people’s lives. Our stress is on “what” happened, more than “why” it happened. Why questions tend to result in too much speculation. During this step we will gain insight into the character and actions of both God and people involved.
Circumstances – what is the presenting problem/situation
Characters – who is involved in the story? What do we learn about them (God is always the chief character in every Bible story)
Conversation – what are people saying? What is being their words?
Conduct – what are the people doing? What do their actions reveal?
Choices – both intential/unintential. What choices could have been made?
Consequences – what is the immediate impact of the choice and repurcussions?
Spiritual Applications – In step 4 the emphasis is on how God is working in the lives of people in the Bible story. Now we discover spiritual truths that apply to our lives/ministry today.
Example: Is there anything in the story that surprised or impressed me: actions of God, people or the results of people’s behavior? How do those actions/results apply to today?
1. What are the results of obedience/disobedience in this story?
2. Does anyone change their beliefs, attitudes or behavior? What causes them to change? What might that teach us today?
3. How does God respond to people’s beliefs, feelings, words or actions?
4. How does my understanding of God’s attributes (justice for instance) affect my life today?
5. How does this truth affect my life in my marriage, home, parenting, job, church, community, society?