November 14, 2015

Storytelling as a Teaching Technique

By studying the primary teaching method of the greatest teacher in history, Jesus Christ, it becomes clear that one of the most effective tools for high-impact teaching comes through the use of stories. Lou Delfra explains:

“Jesus’ use of storytelling is not only a useful pedagogical method, but also a necessary one. That is, Jesus did not tell stories merely because they provided effective illustrations of what he was really hoping to say more plainly, if only people would better understand him—though they do often serve the useful pedagogical purpose of elucidating difficult or hard-to-grasp concepts. Rather, Jesus told stories because the ‘subject matter’ with which he was dealing—‘The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel’ (Mk 1:15)—could often only be revealed in its fullness through image and story” (Lou Delfra, as quoted from www.silk.net/RelEd/storytell.htm).

Because this week’s lesson tells three stories, it provides a great opportunity to experiment with storytelling as a method of teaching. Not only can you retell the Bible stories (perhaps from the first-person perspective of Goliath or Eliab), but you can choose modern-day stories as well to illustrate the concepts you’re trying to teach.