Saturday, November 19, 2022

Why do I model a simple telling of God's Word?

Why do I model a simple telling of God's Word? 

Is it because I don't like drama, skits, or musicals?  Not at all. Those each have a time and place for presentation. I love them and they can be a great asset in drawing someone to the LORD if done properly in the right cultural context.

If someone is hearing the Word for the first time, I have a responsibility to tell it in such a way that they hear it clearly and can repeat it clearly. I want them to be able to replicate what I have done.

A simple telling is easily reproducible. 

It is the first step of learning a story. It is the foundation of good storytelling.

When I lead trainings, I always start with how to recall a story as the first basic element. I have a responsibility as an educator to establish a good foundation to build on.

The pattern is listen, learn, share. 

When our partners observe this model in other countries, they get so excited because it is so easy to follow. I am often told "Thank you! This is so easy. We can do this!"

Often, material is presented in highly literate methods and reproducing it seems difficult. When they see our books, posters, PowerPoints, dramas, wardrobes, digital media, etc. It feels daunting because they may not have these readily available and this then makes it appear that God's Word is not accessible in their context. 

Often we do not realize how those watching us will think I must copy everything they do. This is true right down to how we dress. If I only teach with a robe on then those watching determine they must wear robes. The focus moves from telling the story to the outer appearance of the leader or even the material.

A simple telling guards the purity of God's Word and what is perceived about the role of the teller.

Once a basic storytelling is established, we will then learn how to ask good questions and model different learning styles. 

The goal of asking good questions will be to help them discover from God's Word the truths that the Holy Spirit is revealing to them in their context. It isn't about me teaching them what I know. 

The goal of using different learning styles will be to encourage the person in their context to reproduce the Word through their arts: drawing, drama, skits, music, poetry, digital media,  etc. 

The key is that they are the creator of the art form to take place not me. This lends it to be culturally relevant and reproducible in their context.

A simple telling of God's Word is foundational. If done well, then those listening and learning will immediately start dreaming about how to share it in their context. Dreams of dramas, skits, poetry, art, and digital media will be envisioned as they seek to communicate God's story to their people in their ways. A good basic telling opens the door for the Holy Spirit to unleash His creativity in them to create and tell His story well in their culture and context.

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