Helping someone start a story group
Ruth is a local pastor who has been learning Bible storytelling. She is growing in confidence with telling stories to groups of Christians or to individual non-Christians but wasn’t sure how to run a group for seekers or brand new believers.
The group she had in mind were a group of young men ranging in age from 17-24. Could I help her with the first week?
We arranged to meet as a group in the local school which had a little pavilion.
After introductions I explained how the group would run. A story and some discussion questions and we should be done in 40 minutes. I explained that we’d go through the story three times as that would really help them remember it and make the discussion time better.
I told the story. The second time we did what is called a “Lead Through.” This means re-telling the story line by line but asking short questions or for them to fill in the blanks. The non-Christian with the least background was best with this although he kept called Zaccheaus ‘Satan’ (the names are a little similar in Chinese)!
The third time they told the story line by line with whoever remembered the next line telling it.
Then I explained the discussion rules and we discussed four questions. The discussion was excellent. Lots of laughter with the only difficulty being to help the guy who’d been a Christian longest to speak in ordinary language and not Christianese and to prevent two of them telling off another one for smoking. Afterwards I was able to explain to Ruth (who learns quickly) why it was important to prevent the non-Christian guy feeling embarrassed. He is far less likely to come again if people pick on his habits. We want him there again because his answers were the best and he needs to meet Jesus.
I was able to then let them know that there are eight stories which Ruth will tell them. Each week the format will be the same and each story will build on the one from the week before so each week they’ll understand more.
This post is also available in traditional and simplified Chinese.