A few of us from the dialect storying team attended an online webinar, “How to Lead an Oral Bible Story Group Session” conducted by members of Cru. They demonstrated ways of running an oral Bible story group session with about 5-6 participants. The participants would learn and craft Bible stories, and practise telling them so they can share the stories in their communities. Telling Bible stories has been shown to be an effective way to share the gospel in the listeners’ heart language.
They explained the steps to help participants learn a Bible story orally:
Telling and re-telling the story.
Inviting participants to tell the story in parts.
Employing methods for remembering the story, such as drama, actions, story boards, and a method known as “right-or-wrong” (more on this below!).
Inviting participants to engage with the story by reflecting on what they liked or disliked about the story, and what they learnt about God and/or Jesus through the story.
The story told during the webinar was quite a long portion of the book of Acts. It covered Peter’s healing of a lame beggar (Acts 3:1-10), the Peter’s sermon (Acts 3:11-26), Peter and John’s arrest, and the increase in the number of believers (Acts 4:1-4).
We noticed that the story had included more details on the healing of the beggar, but summarised Peter’s sermon to a few key points which kept the story to under 3.5 minutes. We thought that picking out key points was a technique worth learning to keep the length of the story manageable. It also made the long discourse more understandable and accessible to listeners.
I enjoyed the “right-or-wrong” method for remembering details in the story. This method involves the storyteller intentionally telling parts of the story wrongly, so that participants can call him/her out on the wrong details and correct the story. I found it to be an engaging and safe way for participants to think through the details of the story without the pressure of having to retell the whole story. This is a method I am keen to try in future storying events run by Wycliffe Singapore.