One of the best ways to encounter the message of the Bible is through its stories. Individual stories speak powerfully, but linking those stories into their larger narrative flow is even stronger. Chronological Bible Storying involves telling biblical stories in the order in which they happened as part of the connected narrative of Scripture. Usually this means beginning with creation and moving sequentially through at least the resurrection of Jesus. CBS has become widely used since the 1980s.
“What’s a good Bible story for teaching about _______?” People who have seen the power of biblical stories often want to use them when specific issues arise in their own lives, in a friend’s life or in a discussion group. Resources have been developed that identify biblical stories that relate to specific topics or groups of topics. These suggestions may be just what you need. If not, they may stimulate your own search in the Bible for even better options.
In a YouTube world, films have wide appeal. Where direct gospel presentations get little hearing, a film can open the way for spiritual conversations. In just a few minutes short films can introduce universal themes in a visually engaging way and provide opportunities for Christians to discuss those themes from a biblical standpoint. Short films can be shown on large screens or smart phones, in theatres or while sitting with friends in a café. Digital, visual storytelling is used to spark spiritual conversations around the world.
Many wonder what it would have been like if they were in the crowd watching Moses part the Red Sea, or looking up the hill as Jesus was being hung on the cross. Although society will never be able to develop a time machine, many filmmakers continue to present Bible stories on video in order to bring them more to life. It might just be the closest thing people have to actually being there.
Surprisingly, Deaf communities are like oral cultures. Both prefer face-to-face communication and use concrete-relational patterns of thinking. Each has a strong group orientation. Both use storytelling extensively and written materials sparingly. Bible stories in sign language, told live and via video, have strong appeal to many Deaf people.
Although oral cultures frequently make little or no use of written or printed materials, they have a strong visual orientation. They pay close attention to the world around them, including the visual arts. Some oral cultures have ancient and sophisticated visual art traditions that convey their history, values, beliefs and practices. A small but growing movement seeks to understand these visual art traditions as a window into understanding cultures and as a means of communicating the Christian message.
"Even if a log soaks a long time in water, it will never become a crocodile." This Wolof proverb was used to remind people that just attending religious activities does not make a person righteous. Oral cultures use proverbs extensively as a storehouse of hard-won wisdom. Proverbs are compact and vivid, so they ease the load on oral people’s memories. Proverbs distill the lessons of many past stories; they enable people to predict the outcomes of stories yet to be experienced.
Radio is one of the most well known media for broadcasting information to a wide audience. It has proven itself time after time as an effective tool for communicating to oral cultures and has made information, stories and dramas accessible in even the remotest of locations.