In case you missed it, Jared posted yesterday about The Art of Storytelling. For me I haven’t really thought of storytelling as an art form. I have heard some people tell stories better than others, but, until recently, I didn't considered how people can cultivate the skill. But it is increasingly important that we hone our ability to tell stories because people resonate more with stories in our culture than in the past.
U.S. Literacy Facts: Did you know...
- Over 50% of people over age 16 are functionally illiterate.
- 58% of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book.
- 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
- Each day, people in the US spend four hours watching TV, three hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
- It’s estimated we spend as much as 80% of our non-working, non-sleeping time in front of a screen – TV or PC.
- Researchers believe 70% or more of people in North America prefer non-literate means of communication. They are preferred oral learners.
As we think about storytelling, I want to introduce some of you to a great resource for kids from our friends at Soma Communities. This resource is called Story of God for Kids. Soma designed this resource to tell children the story of God in a clear and easy to understand way. I have used this in my family and have recommended it to a friend who is doing ministry with kids in a local neighborhood. Both with positive results. It helps equip teachers to communicate the biblical narrative simply, it helps them cultivate dialogue with kids about what they are learning.
Here are two great reminders for storytellers from the authors of Story of God for Kids. Everyone who disciples children should heart them.
- Don’t just read it—know it and bring it to life! This is so important for people who are regularly interact, teach or volunteer in children’s ministry. Don't just to go through the motions but be excited. Believe this is the best story ever told. Help kids to believe it as well.
- This is a dialogue, not a quiz. Use questions based on the story you are telling to help start a dialogue with kids about what they are learning. Don't merely test to ensure they have been listening. The goal is not to help kids get a 100% but rather help them connect with the story personally.
We have the best story to share. The God of the universe, who created everything, loved me enough to send his son on a rescue mission to save me and set me free from sin. Even our personal stories are pretty remarkable when we stop and think about it. We were enemies of God. But in his love for us, God pursued us and rescued us.
Have you used Story of God for Kids? Leave us a note below to tell us how it has gone for you.
**Parts of this post were adapted from the Story of God training created by Soma Communities.