Create a conversational community

Today’s blog post is an excerpt from a book that urges group leaders to create “conversational community” in their groups. It’s title says it all: Teacher: Creating Conversational Community.

The section I’ve chosen to focus on today is from page 30 of the book. In this section, my two co-authors and I call attention to the importance of stories during Bible studies. I hope that stories are a part of your group’s Bible study experience. Here is what we had to say about this important topic:

Stories. It’s how God wired our brains. He likes stories so much He wrote one! We call it the Bible. It’s made up of hundreds of stories. But they are ultimately just part of One Story. It’s a story of redemption. Its hero is the Word. The Word who thought up the world and spoke it into being…

Stories are crucial to the teaching ministries of Jesus and Paul. The Lord taught in parables (short stories that were memorable and focused on  a single truth). Paul was excellent at creating word pictures using illustrations from everyday life such as boxing, running, farming, soldiering, and more.

As a teacher, look for stories to share from your own life. Group leaders should practice a level of vulnerability. The people in the group need to see that you don’t have it all together. A good teacher will also know his or her group members well enough to call on them to share their own stories. Stories can be powerful tools the Lord uses to shape hearts and open minds.

The next time you teach, what stories will you include? Something from your past? Your present? Will it be a story of success or failure, or something in between? Stories are powerful and they capture people’s imaginations. Try making storytelling a part of your group’s Bible study experience.

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