STORIES and songs … that’s how people in many language groups pass down their culture, history and values. Oral Bible storying speaks to them! An oral Bible story is an abbreviated and simplified version of a Biblical passage. Our vision is to help people in 500 unreached language groups hear the gospel in a way they can understand and to equip them to grow in a community of faith.
StoryRunners developed the School of Storying, a short workshop that produces a set of 42 oral Bible stories from Creation to the Return of Christ. We ensure each story is biblically accurate, is easily learned and retold, is appropriate to culture, and sounds natural to the hearer. We focus on developing the stories, as well as teaching principles of evangelism, discipleship, and church planting through a story group (small group discussion of a story). Each day the participants learn new stories and share them in the local community with the intention of starting a story group and launching a multiplying movement of followers of Jesus.
Developing a Story in Six Steps...
1. Story Learning
Six groups listen to their assigned biblical passage in a common trade language and discuss essential elements to include in the story. A storyteller from each group records a “first draft” telling of the story in the local language. The StoryRunners team reviews an English translation of the newly developed story and provides recommendations.
2. Group Check
Storytellers from the six groups take turns sharing their story with the remaining group of 12 participants and discuss ways of improving the clarity of their stories.
3. People Check
Non-Christian guests, unfamiliar with the Bible, listen to a story several times and then answer questions to assess their understanding. Then they retell the story to test how easily it could be learned and shared.
4. Group Re-Check
The other 12 participants listen to the stories again to ensure consistent terminology and transitions so that all the stories fit in a cohesive set.
5. Showcase Check
The storytellers from each group switch to one of the other five groups unfamiliar with their stories to evaluate if that group can learn and retell the story accurately.
6. Back Translation and Studio Recording
A non-Christian, unfamiliar with the Bible, listens and translates the story into English so that the StoryRunners team member can compare the accuracy of the story to its biblical passage. The storyteller makes any needed adjustments and then records a final master in an improvised studio (pictured below).