Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shaped By The Story

How do you teach people the Bible? It's an important question. After all, we're not dealing with how to make a chicken pot pie. We're discussing life and death matters as people learn and death. So it matters.

So when my friends at Youth Worker Journal offered me a copy of Michael Novelli's book Shaped by the Story: Discover the Art of Bible Storying, I grabbed it.

Michael is quite open about his connections to Sparkhouse and Echo the Story and how resources are sold with his name on it. But he doesn't come across as writing a long advertisement. He writes about his journey, how he has taught and the several stops on his own journey that have led him to where he is.

Through it all, we see the heart of a youth pastor, wanting to ensure that teens not only hear the word, but retain it enough to live it out. Divided into sections, Michael begins with his own story, then continues to theories of why stories make a difference in teaching. In one spot, he remind us "stories invite us into their reality by capturing our imaginations and invoking our emotion and empathy."

It makes sense, then, why Jesus taught using stories. As Michael does teach this throughout the country, he offers testimonies from youth leaders and students at the ends of each chapter. Then Novelli ends with an explanation of how to use this method for teaching.

Many books are read, but this is one to be thought through and applied. I haven't yet had opportunity to try this method on my own youth group. Posts in the future will likely reveal what I've seen firsthand. For now, I would recommend you picking this book up and seeing how it can make an impact in your own ministry. I believe this would be a strategy to attempt for any age, not just youth.

After all, we're talking about life and death matters.

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