"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

Telling a Good Story

As we lead discussions, at times there are facts or details we would really like to drive home. We often use analogies to accomplish this. The difference between a good analogy and a great one is whether or not our hearers can picture themselves in the place or situation we’re describing. Word pictures enhance analogies and make them more real for people. For example: when asked “How do you feel?”, you could respond by saying “Good” or you could say “As calm as a lake at midnight”. Both express similar feelings, but one paints a picture that gives the questioner much more information!

Using these techniques, you can engage your group even more in the story and discussion. Most of us have probably studied the book of James. When we learned about the setting of the letter, we all understood that it was a time that was not friendly to the new Christians in Jerusalem. However, if we add a small story, suddenly it becomes more real and memorable.

Imagine yourself as a member of this church – you’re probably a Jew, your family and friends refuse to associate with you and you’re worried that they might have identified you to the Sanhedrin as a Christian. The Roman soldiers that occupy the city may or may not know you’re a Christian. As you walk the streets, you try to keep a low profile around them so that you don’t end up like your neighbor who was recently arrested and beaten for no apparent reason. This is the setting of the book of James where Paul opens his letter: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

If you want to engage your group more in a study or situation, use word pictures and tell a good story!


March 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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