By Brett Ricley, Guest Author
[This article originally posted at DisplayTheGospel.com]
I'll be the first to admit that I'm terrible at story telling. Maybe it's because there's an art to it and I'm not the "artsy" type?
Nonetheless, over the past few years I've observed that the art of gospel story telling has become something the Church has begun to engage in and embrace more. I think this is a good thing.
In Jesus' day, much of the gospel story was communicated orally and even transmitted from one generation to another, orally. Today, we live in a visual world where everything is communicated through graphic design, websites, blogs, television, etc. It's not common that people sit down to communicate gospel truths to each other anymore...unless we're sitting in a church service listening to a sermon. However, I think there is immense value to followers of Jesus being able to communicate the gospel in their own words.
This hit home for me a few days ago when my six year old recently began asking me to tell him Bible stories in the car during our 45 minute commute to school. At first it took me a minute to skim through the mental files of Bible stories to find one I was familiar with enough to confidently tell him. It was a little rough at first but when I finished the story my son immediately wanted to hear another one!
After a few days of this, it dawned on me that I didn't know as many Bible stores by memory as I thought I did. It also dawned on me that there were multiple benefits to this oral gospel story telling thing, whether it's with our kids or other people in general:
- People get to hear true stories about God's creation, love, wrath, justice, mercy, and redemption in our own words.
- We get to basically lead an oral Bible study with people if we're communicating the timeless principles of the Text along the way and pointing them to Jesus.
- It forces us to know our Bibles better. Who doesn't need to know the Bible better?
- It serves as a springboard into an endless possibility of conversations about God, theology, and Truth in general.
- It (hopefully) shows people far from God that following Jesus is more personal than some religiously organized thing it often gets criticized for being.
Regardless of how good you may or may not be at telling the timeless stories of the Bible, keep pressing on to communicate the greatest story ever told: the gospel!
For the Kingdom,