Sharing a Story

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!

2 Responses to Sharing a Story
  1. jared pimentel

    This is crucial in communication. I’ve noticed whenever I’ve taught or I’ve just observed a crowd that as soon as I or the pastor starts into a story people ger real still and they start to listen. I’m very pumped for this form of communication to not just be part of the sermon but perhaps the sermon itself.

  2. Jon Huckins

    I feel you my friend. It was that same observation that initially brought me to this idea. I began to realize that students would remember my silly story illustration for 2, 3 or 4 years, but would almost never remember the point I was working to illustrate! Hopefully this form of communication can help the message stick since the message is the story.