Guidelines for Storying

    1. Choose a story from the Gospels.

    2. Read the story enough times so that it becomes familiar to you. I recommend reading it at least once a day Monday through Friday.

    3. Make a story board. One line per major thought or event. The story board is a simple tool to help the story teller to keep the narrative flowing naturally and is not something to be used as a prop for the audience. Story Board Example

    4. Practice telling the story from memory. Try to get through it 3 times on Saturday without having to refer back to the bible.

    5. Prepare the questions that you want to have the house church discuss. Use the "Basic Questions for Group Discussion" (below) as a reference. Add 2 or 3 of your own questions that apply to the specific story you are telling.

    6. Keep in mind that the goal of telling the story is to help you and the house church to internalize the story.

    7. Most stories will take 2 to 5 minutes to tell. Try to keep your story telling within that time frame. Avoid the trap of trying to turn the story telling into a bible study. You will be amazed at how much revelation people receive by the work of the Holy Spirit as they listen to and discuss the story.

    8. Before you start the story remind the group that they are going to help you retell it when you are done. This provides good motivation for the group to pay attention as you tell the story.

    9. Tell the story.

    10. After you tell the story to the group have the group retell the story. It might be advantageous to refer to your story board as you prompt the groups retelling.

    11. Now ask the questions you have prepared. Give everyone a chance to share their thoughts. Preface the time of sharing to encourage everyone to be succinct. Watch the time so you can bring the group discussion into a nice landing by noon.

There are several helpful training videos on effective story telling on the church website. I would recommend that you at least watch “Top Five Things to Remember When Telling Bible Stories.” The presenter tells a story and then explains the top five things to remember as you prepare and tell a bible story (first 26 minutes of the video). Also, you might find it helpful to watch one or two examples of story telling also found on the church website .

Basic Questions for Group Discussion

  • Where did the story take place?

  • When did it take place?

  • Who are the main characters in the story?

  • What characteristics of God/Jesus do you see in this story?

  • What Gospel message do you see in this story?

  • What is God saying to you, to us as a group?

Download this page as a pdf: Guidelines for Storying