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Scripture Engagement/Storying Scripture Practice Tips
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"Storying" Scripture Practice Tips

If you’re interested in storying with a small group, here are some simple practice tips to get started!

  • Know your audience, picking stories that will be relevant to them. Storying works best in groups that are comfortable with one another and with passages that are relatively short.
  • Have a consistent, clear structure for how you choose your stories. You can teach them chronologically (in the order in which they happened) or topically (telling stories with similar themes). Resources for both of those approaches are available on the Resources page.
  • Learn your story well. Read it multiple times, read it aloud, visualize it, or tell it to someone outside your group. Take the time to get comfortable with your story.
  • Have the Bible open in front of you while you tell the story, so that people know the story is from God’s Word. Let your personality shine through when you tell the story, but don’t overdramatize it or tell it in a monotone. Be sure to tell the story as it is in Scripture and to save your comments and interpretations until the story is over. Take your time telling the story. There is no rush. End your story by saying, “That’s the story from God’s Word.”
  • Have group members, as a whole group, retell the story. This will help them learn the story. Encourage the group to include as many details as they can.
  • Read the story one more time (this is a third telling). Have the group make any corrections from what was said either from your memorized version or from their retelling of the story. The point here is to get the story deeper into the hearts of the listeners, correcting any minor mistakes that were made in the memorized or retelling version (because this is God’s Word we want the correct story).
  • Discuss the story after the story has been told 3 times. Take your time and let everyone answer. Leave about 30 minutes for this process. Possible questions (they follow an Inductive Bible Study pattern) are as follows:
    • Thinking/Head – (“what?”, observations)
      • What new thing did you discover in the story that you didn’t know before?
      • What did you like about the story?
      • What didn’t you like about the story?
    • Feeling/Heart – (“why?”, “so what?”, implications/interpretations)
      • What do we learn about God in the story? (this is the most critical question of all to ask – don’t leave this one out – after all, the Bible is God’s story!)
      • What do we learn about people in the story?
      • Which person is most like you in the story?
    • Action/Hand – (“how?”,  “now what?”, application)
      • How would you like your life to be different because of the story?
      • What will you take away from this story?
      • What will you do with what you have learned?
    • Some other possible questions:
      • Who is in the story? Name all the characters, whether they are people, animals, or something else altogether.
      • What is in the story? Name all objects, large and small.
      • Where does the story take place? Describe the setting of the story. Consider things such as the environment (lake, field, cave); location (country, city/town, structure); climate, and so on.
      • When does the story take place? Identify the time frame of the story.
      • What is the problem? Identify any problem, obstacle, barrier, or difficulty presented in the story.
      • What is the resolution? Is the problem solved? Is the obstacle, barrier, or difficulty overcome? If so, how?
    • Make up a few of your own questions that fit the specific story that you’re covering.
  • Challenge each group member to share the story. Ask them to share the personal significance of the story with someone outside of the group in the next few days.
  • End in prayer.

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© Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014. This material was created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement.