Whole Earth Stories – Really, Really Good!
The first time I told a story in church, instead of preaching, something weird happened…people listened! Usually when I preach someone’s coughing, someone’s looking at a text (phone, not scripture!), someone else is staring out the window. But during the Bible story it went strangely quiet…everybody listened. I started to suspect that our brains are made for stories; that stories are how we learn truth, set our values, even make decisions.
As I started telling the simple stories of the Bible, enough people asked if I had recorded the stories that I had a great idea! Record them. And, to give them an extra “twist;” why not tell the Bible stories in some cool places?
So, armed with a simple camcorder and a mic, we’ve traveled to some interesting places and I’ve told the stories there. Yvonne is the videographer. We’ve recorded about 27 of them so far and will be posting them here over the next months.
Here’s our particular way of telling the stories:
1) I don’t memorize the stories. I understand that was how pre-literary cultures maintained the integrity of the story; they passed the story along word for word. But since we have the written story, it’s not necessary for me to reproduce it, word-for-word. Rather the storyteller looks for an immediacy and intimacy that comes from finding the right words to communicate the essence of the story. Sometimes you might notice minor omissions or additions.
2) However, I’m pretty careful to not add anything that couldn’t be logically inferred. I’m not trying to do “historical fiction” or imagine stuff that isn’t implicit or implied. I’m just trying to tell the stories of God that we have in the Book.
3) The stories are usually between 3 and 7 minutes long.
4) Our hope is that these stories might be used in small groups, church services, Bible studies, ESL classes, family altars, Sunday schools. ..you get the idea.
5) Some are dubbed in Spanish, but this first one isn’t.
Enjoy, think, rinse, repeat.