Best practices and key principles relating to storying and story telling

The people we aim to serve are by nature action learners (Oral Preference Communicators). This means that they learn by the same principles little children learn. Adults are also action learners even when literate ways become a significant part of their preferred ways. They do well with literate communication styles, but they still rely often and do best with the natural God given action learning principles.

Some key action learning principles are:

  • Life experience
  • Observation
  • Testing (qualities, characteristics)
  • Validating (based on experience)
  • Doing, practicing, repetition, and mimicking
  • Confirmation (positive and negative)
  • Socialization
  • Relationships
  • Discussion

Naturally, the people we serve may not identify these principles categorized in this way.

Best practices:

  • Use the natural heart language of the audience as fitting the communication art forms used.
  • Allow Scripture narrative to stand on its own and speak for itself.
  • Bring in only necessary context and/or background information.
  • Keep Scripture meaning of the passage accurate and complete as possible.
  • Start with simpler narratives that the audience can relate to (for example: redemptive themes, matters of daily life, trauma, health issues).
  • Allow narratives to connect like in a puzzle in panoramic cycles towards a clear overall picture that serves as a framework. This framework serves then to further connect with more passages (not all of them being narratives) that eventually encompass the whole counsel of God.
  • Natural progression for oral preference communicators should follow normal ways of progression to their specific culture and worldview. This can be chronological, but can be different.
  • Allow the people we are serving to select the order of the passages (with our help only as needed as a catalyst).
  • Communication artist/story teller (or catalyst) needs to have internalized the passage, engaged with the passage, and should have been impacted by the passage. He/she is also able to communicate it well in context of his/her audience.
  • Questions and discussion should draw people into the passage.
  • Life feedback preferably needs to come from an uninitiated audience with whom we have been sharing the passage.
  • Unless really needed for communicability, don’t edit the Scripture passage. Things that may not be important to us, may be important to people from another worldview. God gave us the passage with a purpose as it is.
  • Don’t prepare teaching points that address specific concepts or truths that we expect people to learn, but instead allow people to discover the inherent truth that is in the passage (in other words: don’t teach your doctrinal perspectives or interpret the passage for the audience).
  • Don’t ask people their opinions about any of the characters or issues that are not clearly addressed in the passage, because such focus will distract from the message inherent in the passage.  Instead, people would be led by their opinions, rather than by what God is telling us.