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How to do Storytelling

by on June 16, 2015

storytellingNearly every week at Canterbury Community Church we have a bible storytelling at our gathering. It’s  often the main bible passage for the day, that gets told as a story. If we don’t do it, the kids complain! When we do it, they sit glued to the story.

In fact, everyone in the church is more engaged when we storytell, compared to when we do bible readings.

Anyway, I thought I’d do some posts summing up what I’ve learned about bible story telling, over the past five years. You might be interested to give it a go at your church, or if you already do, it’s always good to hear from someone else in the same game!

I’ll start with preparing your script. This takes a bit of time. I find it takes me about half an hour to get a good storytelling script. Once you’ve got it, though, you can use it again and again.

Not everyone agrees on what makes a good script for storytelling. I’ll give you my take on it over the next few days.

How to prepare a storytelling script

1. Abridge.

I.e. cut words. It depends on your audience and your capacities, but often

  • bible stories are long and hard to memorise
  • the length can challenge people’s attention spans, especially ESL people and children.

So you may end up wanting to shorten the thing a bit. Or even a lot. A short story is easier than a long one. Of course some stories are already short – e.g. parables – and don’t need cutting. They may even need lengthening! But in general you’ll need to abridge.

Example: if storytelling Genesis 2, just after God creates the man, you find this:

A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches.  11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;  12 and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.  13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush.  14 The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

I would suggest for the sake of the storytelling, you might abridge this or even omit it altogether. Your audience probably doesn’t need to know so much about the minerals in Havilah just now. They want to know what God does with this man. Maybe just do verse 10, then cut to 15.


From → General

One Comment
  1. Lisa permalink

    Fantastic picture! That says it all.

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