I am at Soma School in Tacoma, WA right now. Last night we began “storying” the Bible (telling the story of the Bible as just that: a story). This is a process many missionaries use to tell the story of who God is and what He has done in oral cultures (for example, see the IMB’s website on storying here).
As we covered the first five stories in this set (Creation, Garden, Fall, Cain & Abel, Noah), I have been struck once again by the power of story. Not that doctrine is unimportant, but remembering that redemption is a story and telling it as such enables us to focus on the big-picture issues. It also involves us, you become part of a story as you hear it; you become involved and invested. It’s easy to see themes and patterns emerge.
I’m wondering if any of you have used this technique in your local ministry context and what has the response been? If you’re the primary teacher in a church setting, how do you try to balance story with more doctrinal elements, or is this something you even consider? How might we recapture some of the magic of story in our churches? How might this technique be used for outreach locally? Why have we tried to make everything so analytical? How can we reincorporate doctrine into story? After all, isn’t that the way God revealed it to us in the first place?