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Stories

May 18, 2009

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How well do you tell stories? I have been reading the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything with a very long list of authors recently. The book points to research that shows that stories are the most powerful way to influence change.

They say that if you can get the person listening to identify with the character, to put themselves into their shoes, the likelihood that they will be impacted increases. The likelihood of change goes up considerably.

Do you think that this should impact the way we teach from the Bible? Do you think an attitude that says it has to come from the Bible to be biblical could hinder this?

It would seem that the most effective way to teach today would be to modernize stories from the Bible so that people listening could see themselves in the situation.

Do you know of anyone who has done this well?

I have been thinking about the story of the woman at the well recorded in John 4:1-26. I have preached this story and tried to help people understand all of the cultural variables at play. I have explained the attitudes about the Samaritans, the idea of a Jewish man speaking to this woman, and the fact that the woman was most likely an outcast due to the time she came to well. I have done that but what if the best way to teach her story is to modernize it? To reframe it in today’s terms?

I am working on a message series for the fall where we take events from the gospel and work them in a modern way. I am currently seeking creative writers who would like to work on the script. We will do them video documentary style.

I’m hoping they will be very powerful so please say a prayer for the efforts. It will take a lot of work to have them done by October.

How about you, have you seen this idea done well anywhere? What are your thoughts?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Wendy Simmons permalink
    May 21, 2009 11:51 am

    I think that is a great idea! I always found Sunday school boring as a child, so consequently, I know very little of the stories. I have always found the sermons to be boring as well, and felt it did not apply to my life or modern times, so I do not know much about the Bible in general, for that matter. I loved writing in my teen and early adulthood years, but have abandoned the craft over time, and do not consider myself to be a creative writer, but if you need someone to at least be an editor of sorts, I can do that.

  2. May 21, 2009 4:03 pm

    Wendy, I am in the process of putting together a team, you can always give ideas and feedback without writing a thing.

    Let me know.

  3. Wendy permalink
    May 21, 2009 6:21 pm

    I am interested, and I don’t mind at all doing some writing. I am relieved that this is a team effort, though, because I would need some guidance, especially given my Biblical limitations. I am excited about this! I think that this is going to be a fun and educational experience for me, and we will be making learning fun for the kids.

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