Author: Grant Lovejoy
Category: Orality, Scripture Engagement, Leadership Development
When I taught Chronological Bible Storying at an African seminary a few years ago, I asked the students to use Bible storying in ministry and write a report about how it went. Many students said it had worked well for them and their group. But several of the students who were also pastors noted in their reports that using Bible storying had or would create problems for them and their churches. Here’s how I remember their reports:
"When I used the CBS method at the church where I have been pastor for nearly three years, I also allowed time for discussion. During the discussion I discovered that the church members are much more intelligent than I had thought. Though the people are not educated, they asked questions about the Bible story that I could not answer. I have learnt that I must prepare more carefully if I am going to continue using this method."
"I used the CBS method during the Sunday School hour because our lesson books have not yet arrived from the publishing house. When I told the Bible story, the people listened intently. Even the older men who usually sleep through the SS class listened very well. When I began asking the discussion questions, though, the members answered eagerly, many trying to talk at the same time. They were so enthusiastic that the discussion ran even into the time for the worship service. I think that this CBS method will create a problem for our church because it makes people not enter into the worship service on time."
"I decided to tell my church the Bible story of how God created the spirit beings, and how some of them rebelled and were put under his judgment. During the discussion about the story, I discovered that several of my members were previously in a cult group who worships angels. I discoverd that they are still worshiping angels. They seem to have learnt almost nothing from the topical sermons I have been preaching for the last two-and-a-half years."
Bible storying can be disruptive to a church and its pastor. You have been duly warned!