Training videos

Story preparation – an easy method from Christine Dillon

Some people prefer to listen to the Bible passage (rather than read it).  This is the same process except they can close their eyes and on the second time through start using some hand gestures.  This helps some people to remember.  When they eventually tell the story to others they can choose the clearest gestures to make their storytelling more memorable.


Why use stories to communicate? from Christine Dillon

This is the first 13 minutes of a two hour seminar.


Leading discussion from Christine Dillon


How to prepare an introduction for your story from Christine Dillon


How to Present a Story from Christine Dillon


Preparing a Bible story from the Biblical Text from Christine Dillon

This is an earlier way of preparing stories. However, there are some valid ideas including using cartoon strips to learn stories.


Initial Story to Grab Attention from Christine Dillon


Hints for learning a difficult story from Christine Dillon

Using actions to help you learn a hard section.





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15 Responses

  1. Susan Chapman says:

    Thanks for this clear outline of the ‘how to’ of preparing a story from the text. It’s not so hard. 🙂

  2. J.O.TErry says:

    Nice presentation of how to learn and tell a Bible story. Many people ask me this question of How to tell a Bible story? And that always begins with a good preparation. I liked the prayer emphasis as this is not a mechanical process–do this and that will happen. It is a partnership with the Holy Spirit. The first person to be changed when learning and telling a Bible story is the person learning the story. As a veteran of many years of learning, telling and teaching others I can say that I have experienced the Bible very differently than in my seminary classes, casual Bible reading, or Sunday School classes. Professional storyteller John Walsh recommends storyboarding with a cartoon to help see the visual progress and relationship of the story events.

  3. Miguel Aguirre-Martinez says:

    Hi, greeting from Mexico! We are interested in learning more about this subject. We are convinced that a lot of people in Latino america are of oral preference and can be easily introduce to the story of the Bible and became familiar with it.

    Also, we interested in what you are saying about the crafting of the stories, but when I try to watch the videos it tells me that is a private video and it ask me for a password. What do I need to watch your videos.


    • Chris says:

      The password is written on the outside page of the videos (when you see the original pictures). It is ‘rescue’ for the salvation stories; ‘training’ for the one training one and ‘EternalKing’ for the Daniel ones.

      Miguel – yes, yes, yes – really the whole world loves stories but they are especially good for oral learners. I am learning more each week about this communication method and getting more and more excited. Currently I am in a bible college in Australia (normally I work with working class people in Taiwan). Please join the forum and ask questions. The questions help us all to learn. We would love to have you describe your context and then ask specific questions.

      Some of the videos I really need to upgrade. The Noah story has improved so much recently that I really should re-film it. I might have time about July.

      Are you able to get copies of “Telling the Gospel Through Story” in Mexico? Books are never cheap but the cheapest methods are usually through the ‘Book Depository” – online ordering company which sometimes has sales – and free postage (I hope they send to Mexico), or electronic books if you have that method of reading.
      I would love the book to one day be in Spanish and other languages. The first translation will be Chinese (mid-next year).
      Please let me know how I can be of help to you. Obviously you have computer access – do you skype?

  4. Paul says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am committed to discipling the next generation, and have realized that we have been telling the story from Jesus shows up on the scene, and that leaves people with no basis for really why He came. I am so excited to learn to use storying in my discipling and reaching out to the generations.
    Also, I am teaching those who are not readers to lead and teach other, and storying is the powerful tool that will fit their personalities! God is so good. I just “happened” upon your name and site!
    I will be getting your book, that both my wife and myself will study until we are people of the story! Thank you for making this understandable and accessible! God bless your work.

    Paul Thompon

    • Chris says:

      Glad that you found the website. Please pass it on to others – if you’re on “Facebook” that is a good place to pass on information.
      Learning the first few stories is hard work but once you’ve learned about three it will become much easier. You will benefit so much yourself too as the stories go deeper into your heart.
      What country are you working in?

  5. Warwick Grace says:

    We pray regularly for Bible Translation through Wycliffe (et al) and have been learning more about the effectiveness of Bible story-telling as an important part of the process. This presentation has been clear and helpful. Thank you

  6. Chris says:

    A lady in one of my classes came up for an Acronym to learn the process of preparing a Bible story.

    P – pray
    R – read 3 x (best if at least once out loud)
    A – art – draw a storyboard/comic to help you remember the story
    C – close the Bible
    T – tell the story out loud
    I – imagine -close eyes and imagine the story, picture by picture
    C – check the Bible again
    E – express/exchange the story

  7. Robyn says:

    Hi Chris, Love your website and the simplicity of training video. I’m finding it quite a challenge to prepare huge slabs of scripture into a story, eg Story of Abraham (Genesis 12-24). And different from a short passage, eg Jesus calming the storm. Do have any advice on the ‘how to’ of preparing a longer passage that spans many chapters. Eg, Noah, Jonah. Robyn

    • Chris says:

      Basically what I do is read all the chapters prayerfully. Thinking of who my listeners are AND what makes a complete story, I then choose what Bible sections I want in the story. Then I learn each discrete section as I would an individual story. (See the PRACTICE format described at the bottom of the training video in ‘comments’). Then I link each of those bits together. The linking is usually just bridge words like ‘some time later’, ‘afterwards…’ Then if it is part of a series I make sure it is linked to the previous story. Between Noah and Abraham I say something like, “Noah’s sons had sons and they had sons and many generations passed…one day God spoke to A. who lived in Babylon and said …”
      I have re-recorded several stories (Noah, Gen 3…) to show how stories can improve and get much closer to scripture. I have deliberately left the original recordings there so that people can hear two versions.
      Keep practicing and don’t give up. It will probably take a year to get a good set of stories going. My first set probably took 4 years but I was making up how to do it by trial and error. The second set is faster and the third even faster.

  8. Kevin Sutter says:

    Thank you so much for these simple to apply video teachings. I am putting them to practice and enjoying the results!

    Your resources fit my criteria:
    keep it small, simple, easily duplicated

  9. Lam Yuet says:

    Thank you so much for the demonstration.
    I want to ask if I can tell the stories in this model to children about 4 to 8 years old?
    Thank you.

    • Chris says:

      You can but it also depends on the children a little. I did it with children of that age range and did this order:
      1. Tell story (with it’s introduction)
      2. ‘Lead through’ – check training videos for how to do this
      3. Retell whole story or tell in pairs or with someone coming to the front
      4. Do 6 questions with older children paired with younger ones. You may have to change questions around a little.
      Also suggest you join our Facebook group – storying the scriptures – as this is a good place to ask questions and some people on that group work with children

  10. Paul Winter says:

    Hi Chris. Thank you so much for giving such clear teaching on this method of sharing the gospel. I only came across the idea of biblical storytelling a few days ago and have been trying to find out how to get started. I came across an article by you on and followed the link here.

    Although this method was originally developed for oral societies, I have no doubt it has it’s place here in the UK. Although the west has a high level of literacy, some figures suggest a fairly high level of functional illiteracy too. Added to that a lot of people choose not to read and few people enjoy listening to lectures. Yet the church tends to put huge resources into books, tracts and what amount to lectures. Telling stories seems so much less threatening, and it allows God to work in people’s lives. I like the way stories can engage both young and old and stick in their memories long after they hear them. I also think it is likely to be a much easier and less threatening way for the ordinary Christian in the pew to be able to share the good news, as well as building up their own faith.

    Now I just need to get down to learning my first story and find someone to share it with. I have asked to join your FB group.

    • Chris says:

      Delighted to hear that someone has read that old article on the Evangelicals Now. Sometimes you write these things and never know if anyone ever read it. I think the article was about 3 years ago. I use storytelling a lot with non-Christian Westerners. Post-moderns love stories because they are resistant to be ‘told what to do’ and story gets around that. It allows them to explore issues from different perspectives. Storytelling is also great with people who’ve been in church for ages. It makes them think in different ways.

      I have just put out a free ‘taster’ book too called ‘Stories aren’t just for kids: Busting 10 Myths about Bible storytelling.” It’s free on ibooks/Barnes and Noble/Kobo and $1 on Amazon. It is a booklet really but full of inspiring stories off the website. A good one to read yourself and then pass on to other friends in your area. Perhaps then others would want to try learning stories and then you have support. It’s much easier to get started with 2-3 people learning together.
      ‘See’ you on the Facebook group.

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