Making Bible Stories Stick

There is a beloved storyteller in my community. In fact, she’s very well-known throughout the state, the Southeast and probably the entire United States. She has a following of people who faithfully gather to hear her tales, and this past spring I was able to attend one of her storytelling events for the first time. I was amazed at the ease with which she captivates listeners with her descriptive words, luscious alliterations and dramatic flair — all the while creating beautiful pictures in everyone’s minds. From her very first sentence, she hooks her audience and holds them mesmerized till the very end. How can an hour or even more go by so quickly? You become so enthralled in her story that you don’t want it to end . . . at least not yet!

Think about some of your favorite stories. Do you like true stories, fictional stories, funny stories, heroic stories, inspirational stories or maybe even scary stories? Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty from family members, friends, funny guys, preachers, teachers, speakers, celebrities, underdogs and average Joes. Some have made you laugh, and others have made you cry. Perhaps you’ve even heard a few that have made a difference in your life. So what is about stories that make us remember them?

Stories are powerful and impactful. They engage our imaginations and provide a visual framework to make truths stick based on the locations, characters, events and dialogue in the story. We remember a great story, and most likely it will move us to share it with someone else.

But why?

Because God shaped us for stories! He designed us to use all five of our senses in our learning. Active listening helps us imagine ourselves as part of the story as it unfolds. Seeing a dramatization of a story helps us visualize the action. As we touch, smell and taste items (either literally or figuratively) related to a story, we make connections to our own lives.

It’s no accident that more than half the Bible was written in narrative form — God knew the power of stories to transform lives. He wrote it in such a way so that the 90% of the ancient world who were non-readers could remember it in a story form. God was unpacking His truth for centuries to come. Can you even imagine the Bible without stories in it?

Do you want to help kids to know, remember and share the greatest story ever told? That God loved them so much that He sent His only Son to die for them? Then Tell the Story: Bible Storying for Kids is for you! It’s a simple way to share the gospel with kids and make a life-changing impact.

Think about some of your favorite Bible stories and consider these questions:

  • Why are these my favorites?
  • Why do I remember these stories?
  • What impact might the stories I tell children have on them?

Tell the Story includes a Bible Story Cloth with coordinated pictures for 40 Bible stories, 20 Scripture memory activities, 20 Bible story activities and 20 fun games to customize each Bible story session for your unique setting. Stories are arranged chronologically as they occur in the Bible so they can build upon each other. Each session reviews the previous story but never reveals what is coming next, allowing the Bible to unfold naturally. Also included are prepared head, heart and hands questions for each story. Asking good questions helps children explore the Bible stories on various levels, understand what they mean and consider ways to apply those truths within their own lives. You will be amazed by all that kids remember about the Bible and how they in turn can tell the stories to others.

So you may be wondering, “How can I use Tell the Story?” Here are just a few ways that might work for you:

  • Unchurched Children: Show love and acceptance to children who have never learned about God’s love by introducing them to His story.
  • New Church Plant: Ground children in the Bible with chronological Bible story sessions complete with interactive activities for 40 Sundays.
  • Children’s Church: Provide children the opportunity to explore the Bible chronologically so they can understand how the stories fit together and what they mean.
  • After-school Care: Show a witness of God’s love to children, their parents and the community.
  • Backyard Bible Clubs: Connect with your neighborhood children on a deeper level to open the way to share God’s Word with those who may have never heard it.
  • Small Groups: Ensure children have the opportunity to hear and learn God’s Word on their level and with activities appropriate for them.
  • Family Devotions: Tell the stories of the Bible to your children while helping them learn to retell the stories to their friends and cousins.

With Tell the Story, kids will experience and learn about the Bible. This multi-use resource can be tailored to fit a variety of audiences and ages. Use as much of the product as you wish, while also adding your own ideas. For more information, visit wmustore.com/tell-the-story to download a free sample lesson.

Everyone loves a good story, and God’s Word is full of them!

 

Melissa Whetstone serves as the GA editor at national WMU. As the mom to three busy boys, she loves spending time with “her girls” each week as she leads GA at her church.

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