Chronological Bible Storying

bible storying 1

As we served, we keep learning new things. One of the skills we are learning for our next mission trip is chronological bible storying (CBS). In N. America we use different tools to share the gospel e.g. Bridge to Life, Evangelism Explosion, Peace with God etc. These are useful for a literate audience who have some bible background. But what do you do when you are sharing with folks who can’t read and have never heard of the Bible?

1/3 of the world’s population communicates textually, while 2/3 communicates orally. Actually 100%, including the textual 1/3 who can do both, communicates orally. How do you reach oral learners? You tell them stories. Everyone loves stories. They can be remembered, and they are easily retold. Our Lord the Master Teacher always used stories, or parables. Mt 13:34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. Our sermons are boring because we don’t use enough stories. On the rare occasions I got favorable comments from my church members, they always remembered the stories. They may not recall the main points of the teaching, but they remembered the illustrations.

Why chronological? Because it allows the audience who do not have a bible background to build one up for themselves. As they listen to the stories chronologically, they see the big picture developing and how the pieces fit together. Why storytelling rather than teaching? People learn much better when they discover the truths for themselves than when you tell them. That’s the whole basis of inductive bible study.

To ensure that they really learn from it, do what Jesus did – ask questions. Ask 3 types of questions:
1. Head questions. These answer the question “What?” What does the text say? They are basic observations of what’s in the story.
2. Heart questions. These answer the questions “Why?” and “So what?” What does it mean? What is the interpretation? What are the implications?
3. Hand questions. These answer the questions “How?” and “Now what?” They have to do with the applications.

CBS has proven to be very effective in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Too bad they did not teach it in seminary. I hope you and I can learn it well for the sake of the Kingdom.

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  • Pius & Eliza Hau  On August 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for the post Pastor Raymond. More and more I feel that the Panamenian Chinese need chronological Bible teaching more than the North American style of preaching and teaching. Pius

  • Pastor Ray  On August 10, 2013 at 7:19 am

    CBS is different from CBT. The former tells the story with minimal teaching by the story-teller. The latter uses the story as the platform for his teaching, using the 3 “H” questions similar to inductive Bible study.

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