Well, it’s coming down to the wire as Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling will be released next week on December 14th! It has been a long road (almost 3 years) and I’m looking forward to the ways it will challenge/encourage communicators and invite others into the masterful Story of God.
In the book, I challenge communicators (specifically youth pastors) to consider teaching through storytelling; a mode of communication usually employed only as an illustration to the message that is taught in a 3 point prepositional format. I propose that through the development of artful modern day parables (also known as Jewish Agada), the telling of a story is not simply illustrating the message; instead it actually becomes the message. Through the development of characters, plot and setting, we can articulate deep theological and practical insights by simply telling a story. Not only is storytelling neurologically easier to follow than other forms of verbal communication, it creates a “suspension of belief” that allows the listener to imagine themselves as characters within the story.
All that being said, the last section of my book contains stories that I have written over the years and told in a variety of teaching contexts. I am offering them as a resource and working example of what teaching through storytelling might look like.
So, for the next week I will set aside my usual blogging and simply tell you a story. It is one of the stories that has been published in the book and you are more than welcome to use it and try it out in your context. I wrote it to an audience of teenagers and it centers on Matt. 5:38-48 with it’s major themes being: redemptive violence, injustice, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Finally, the story is told through two main characters named Kevin and Charlie.
I will post the first section tomorrow. Follow along and enjoy some storytime!