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Situational Storying
Dr. J. O. Terry

== Dr. Terry is a Media Consultant for the International Board, SBC.  He fosters the storying approach to provide background for the Christian gospel and to present the gospel message. ==

The major emphasis has been upon the use of chronological Bible storying in which the biblical timeline is followed from story to story through the Old Testament and the story of Jesus.

The beginning point is at the beginning of the Bible story.  But there are situations when time is limited and the listeners have some specific need or interest.  For this we use selected stories for story sets (clusters).

At a series of nine radio listener group rallies, I had the opportunity to speak to groups of 40-50 people whose common interest was the Kui radio program, Peaceful Life.  In each rally there was about an hour in which to speak.  I chose to use stories and several story clusters for the occasions.  In one setting there were about equally divided men and women.  

Since it is good etiquette to speak to the men first, I used the Nicodemus story which made ladies giggle a bit when I repeated Nicodemus' reply about entering the womb to be born again.  But the story was directed toward the men.

The next story was that of the Samaritan woman at the well which was directed toward the women.  The two stories covered the matter of eternal life coming from belief in Jesus.  It was a culturally appropriate use of stories in that situation.

In several other situations where the group was meeting in the open village area I used a cluster of stories from the creation and fall of man, Cain and Abel, the flood and Abraham.  I finished with an abbreviated story of Jesus' death on the cross as the acceptable sacrifice for sin.

Sometimes we passed a house along the road and I was asked to enter and pray for someone.  In such situations there was opportunity to retell the story of healing the sick and to pick up the emphasis upon believing in Jesus (having faith).

So the situational storyteller looks for opportunities in the course of meeting people and speaking to groups to use single stories or groups of stories to make his point.  The stories are entertaining and in my own experience always have been an acceptable form of witness.

More on Storying and Orality
[Txt]Different Literacy -- Different World
(Are Older Bible Manuscripts More Reliable?)

[Txt]Eye Learning or Ear Learning?
[Txt]God and Literacy    
[Txt]Literacy -- A Modern Phenomenon
[Txt]Orality, Literacy and the Bible
[Txt]Situational Storying
[TXT]Stories and Storytelling: Communicating the Gospel in an Oral Culture
[Txt]Stories and Storytelling:  Reclaiming our Oral Heritage

Also view related PowerPoint Presentations:
[PPt]Orality and Post-Literate Culture
[PPt]Oral and Literate -- Contrast of Oral and Literate Perspectives
[PPt]Secondary Orality, a Power Point Presentation based on this article
[PPt]Chronological Bible Storying Official Site

This article was originally published in the "Approaches" series in Afri-Com, January 1997, edited by Orville Boyd Jenkins
Posted on SLRK 5 May 2006

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