Jerry Wiles on Stories that Transform

In a region near the Congo River in the Central African Republic, a lady, for the first time in her life, heard the story from the Bible about Jesus Calming the Storm. After she heard the story, and a time of discussion and reflection, she said, “I see that during this storm, this difficult time, those disciples went to Jesus for help.” She went on to say, “I see that in my difficult times, I should be going to Jesus, instead of the witch doctor. So, from now on, I’ll be going to Jesus, instead of the witch doctor.”  This is a great example of how the Holy Spirit can give insight, understanding and applications when people hear stories from the Word of God.  

Great Stories to Tell

The lady who told the story had just learned it at a Living Water Orality Training Workshop, and immediately shared it with others in her village. In our training, we emphasize that we don’t have to be great story tellers, because we have great stories to tell. Also, trainees discover the power of learning a little, practicing a lot, implementing immediately and telling the stories often. Repetition being the “Mother of all learning” is another important principle that we emphasize.  Participants are trained to tell the stories from the Bible, facilitate small group retelling and discussion, and how to help others discover the meaning and applications from the lessons in the stories.  Biblical, understandable and reproducible are other key components.

The Uniqueness of Jesus

We all face storms in life. A great question to ask and conversation starter is, “Would you like to hear a story that will help you better deal with the problems and difficulties in life?” This particular story is short and easy to learn, but can be used to communicate many important lessons. We can use this story to talk about the uniqueness of Jesus, about His humanity — He was tired and sleepy, so He was sleeping in the back of the boat during the storm. Yet, He demonstrated His deity by showing His power over nature.

There are hundreds of stories from Scripture that can be used to share the Good News of Jesus, and introduce others to a relationship with Him.  Telling short, simple stories can lead to sharing God’s grand story of redemption.  It’s been our experience that with a set of five stories from the gospels, we can give a village, community or tribal groups a simple narrative theology of what it means to have a relationship with the Living God, and become reproducing followers of Jesus.  A key factor is the pre- and post-story discussion and dialogue to understand the message, lessons and applications from the stories.

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SOURCE: Assist News