Good stories captivate the imagination and attention of a child. It
provide an excellent way of getting the Gospel across to them, and in
communicating Bible values and ideas in an easy to understand way.
Stories teach about life and persist in the memory. Some people are
born story-tellers, but others have story telling thrust upon them.
If you are suffering from lack of experience, all you need to
become a good story-teller is a suitable story told in accordance with
a few ground rules. Be encouraged, you can develop a story-telling
ministry with the help of God.
Make It Alive!
The don't just read the story, but make it come live because the Bible is
real and true! Make your story descriptive so that the audience can
visualise the story. Know the story by heart and then rehearse it
until you can tell it with confidence. Picture it in your mind to
make it real to yourself.
A monotonous delivery drains the life from the best story. Aim to
know your story well enough so that you to maximise its dramatic and
emotional appeal. Work out where atmosphere and excitement could
be built up by a pause or by speeding up your story. Suspense
can be created by dropping your voice to a whisper.
While you speak, use your body to act out the story with gestures and
facial expressions. To be vivid and convincing, your characters
need to speak for themselves. Where possible, use different
voices or accents for the various characters. For example use a
deep voice for a giant.
Create interest with historical details and place settings. Approach
your story from a fresh angle. For example, in the story of Feeding
the Five Thousand, tell it from the point of view of the boy who gave his
food to Jesus, or if you really want to get creative, from the view point
of an ant who collected the crumbs!
Visual aids are important too. Today's children expect to see as well
as hear. Use pictures and props if appropriate, or even dress up as
the main character in your story. Your visual aids and props could
take the form of household objects mentioned in the story.
Use the Audience!
Include in your story events, people or circumstances that children can
relate to their in lives or in their culture. Involve the children
by letting them make sound effects. For example bangs, crashes,
hoof-beats, telephones and footsteps.
If you want children to participate, prepare them beforehand by letting
them rehearse the sounds or phrases when you say a key word. This
makes them feel a part of your story and helps them to remember it.
Pray for God's Annointing!
Story-telling skills improve with practice, so practice often!
Finally, know the story well so that you can concentrate on driving home
the spiritual truth. Pray for God's anointing and tell it for the
children's response and action. The key for results is to be:
Prepared, Prayed-up and Empowered!