Exciting. Epic. Life changing. That’s the adjectives I want to hear when kids and parents reflect on how I’m telling Bible stories. I’m not a professional storyteller but I do love the Word of God and I love sharing it with my kids and adult helpers.
I may share the object lessons, the games and the activities but when it comes to telling the Bible story, I have a hard time sharing this privilege. Over the years, I’ve attended many training conferences that have helped me fine-tune my storytelling capabilities. Generally, I try to follow these six tips for telling Bible stories.
Read the story every day for a week. I wouldn’t advise memorizing a story word for word. You may think it will help but then you end up making a speech, not telling a story. (Experience speaking.) Reading the story every day for a week gives you plenty of opportunity to become familiar with the plot and characters. Don’t over think it.
Never embellish too much. It’s okay to set the scene but don’t get into a guessing game about what God was thinking unless He expressly says, “This is what I was thinking.” Stick to the scriptures as much as possible.
Practice in the mirror. You should practice in the mirror before your Bible story telling session. You’ll get a good gauge on your expressions and know how to adjust your eyes and mouth.
Pantomime while you tell the story. Besides using your most expressive looks, you should also use hand motions and body expressions to pantomime the story. For example, when telling the story of David fighting Goliath, you can pantomime slinging a rock or Goliath waving his sword.
Leave room for the Holy Spirit. If you plan too much, you make it hard for the Holy Spirit to lead. Kids may interrupt for a reason.
Adjust your voice for effect. Wow! Suddenly! And then… these words and phrases have power with your audience. Raise your voice to show anger and speak quieter to draw your audience in. Adjusting your voice really works but always speak audibly so your class can hear you without straining.
Take your ministry class to new heights with a weekly storytelling session.
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