I want to talk about an evangelism and discipling method that has been an effective approach to preaching the gospel since Jesus first used it. It’s Bible storying. Through the centuries it has been implemented in one form or another. But now, in these modern times, it is sweeping the world rapidly, with thousands upon thousands of people spreading it to more thousands. Following are some facts about how it works, and a few of the many examples of lives it has changed, which we’ve compiled from experts in this area who have had great success with this method.
Millions of people around the world can’t read, and millions more can’t read well, or come from what are known as oral cultures. In these cultures their primary learning style isn’t through literate means, and the printed word doesn’t shape their thinking to any significant degree. The fact is that oral learners can assimilate the same thoughts, ideas, and concepts that literate learners can, as long as the lessons are presented in a way that they can retain them.
Many of the world’s least evangelized people are typically oral learners and communicators. This makes sharing the gospel with them difficult; you can’t just give them a Bible or a tract to read. But you can reach them the same way Christians down through the ages have reached oral learners—through stories, which have been effective since the very beginning. According to the Bible, Jesus always used stories and illustrations when speaking to the crowds.
God wired us for stories. When someone says, “Let me tell you a story…” everyone’s ears perk up. Stephen Stringer, a veteran storyteller, said, “A picture is worth a thousand words; a story is worth a thousand pictures.”