As a parent or Sunday school teacher, we are responsible for helping children understand the stories found in the Bible and making Bible truths relevant in their lives.
If only I had known these two simple but effective storytelling methods in my early years of teaching, I would have sparked the interest of my students 100 fold. I share them with you in hopes that you too will incorporated them in your next Bible lesson in order to reach children more effectively with the moral and historical scope found in the Scriptures.
One teaching method is to choose Bible stories that give patterns of conduct to strive for in children's daily lives. Choose stories that will help your students or children handle problems that they're facing right now. If you want to talk to your child or your class about courage, the story of David and Goliath provides a good example of bravery. The giant Goliath frightened all the soldiers in the Israeli army, but the boy David was able to defeat him with God's help.
To teach children loyalty and respect for those who are older, you can tell the story of Ruth. Ruth followed her mother-in-law Naomi to Bethlehem was because she respected her. Because Ruth was loyal to her mother-in-law, God rewarded Ruth by allowing Boaz fall in love with her, and absolutely including Ruth in the lineage of Jesus.
The story of the Good Samaritan lectures the lesson of helpfulness. After a Jewish man was injured, he was left by two others who did not have time to help him. But when a Samaritan saw the injured man, he stopped and helped him, put him on his own donkey and carried him to an inn where he could be cared for.
To help your listeners learn the lesson of the story, start a discussion with the children after telling the story. Ask questions about how your audience can apply what they learned to their own lives. You may also want to teach them a memory verse that relates to the story.
Another effective Bible storytelling method is to reenact a Bible story using costumes as a means to make Bible truths come alive. Children learn best when they are involved in the story, when they can move around, and participate in the storytelling.
Before you use costumes for your Bible stories, prepare a box ahead of time to hold period costumes and accessories. You can keep long robes, and towels for headdresses. If you have a Sunday school class, you can ask parents to bring items to use. If you're teaching your own children, you can shop at a thrift store to find affordable costumes. I've gotten useful ideas from an inexpensive book written by Carla Williams titled: "My Bible Dress-Up Book" . Recently, I've seen a used copy at Amazon.com as low as.16 cents! Now that's a bargain!
In many Bible stories, people are not the only important characters. For example, in the story of Zaccheus, the sycamore tree has an important role too. One of your students may enjoy dressing up a tree and waving his branches in the breeze. Have some brown fabric for the trunk and green leaves available for someone who wants to take this role. In a story like Jesus on the Sea of Galilee or Jonah and the Whale, children can wave a blue sheet to represent the stormy sea.
Most stories only have a few main characters, but you can have all the children dress up as crowd people, or maybe a flock of sheep, or a herd of pigs, whatever the story requires. Give these extras special jobs too, for involvement is a key factor in staying interested in the story.
After you've had some experience with these two Bible story telling methods, you can experiment and build on them to further develop your skills. The art of Bible storytelling is limited only by your creativity.
These two easy to use teaching methods can help you become an effective storyteller, and show children how these stories can apply to their lives today. These are the first important steps to learning the art of Bible storytelling.