People enjoy hearing and watching stories which is why television and movies are so popular. Think about how many hours a week you watch TV and how many times you watch reruns of programs you’ve already seen. Why? One of the biggest reasons is they tell stories that captivate your attention.
Now, think about children and their love of stories. As our children were growing up, there were certain movies they could quote large portions of because they had seen them so many times. That love of hearing stories is a great benefit to Bible teachers. The Bible is full of fantastic stories that children love to hear over and over; if they’re done right. This article will focus on 7 things you should NOT do if you want your stories to be effective 홈타이.
Don’t be unprepared and unorganized when it comes time to tell your story. If you’re unprepared and are trying to “wing” it, the children will catch on real quick and you’ll lose their attention. When telling a Bible story, I have an outline in my Bible as a guide, but know the story well enough to teach without it. That way, my focus is on the children and I can make eye contact with each one during the story. A day or two before your class, practice telling the story out loud with the visuals you will use. This will help you prepare and give you a rough estimate of how long your story will actually take.
Don’t give a dull and lifeless presentation. I remember hearing a noted communicator say once that it is a sin to bore a child with the Word of God. I agree. The stories in the Bible are exciting and full of action. Enthusiasm is contagious whether it’s a quiet non-animated type or an active and outgoing excitement. When preparing the story, put yourself in the character’s place. Think about what they felt and did. Live the story in your preparation and then present it that way.
Don’t simply read the story, but tell it. There are occasional times when it’s good to read the story to the children, but most of the time you should tell it. As you prepare, look for some actions you can bring into your story. When David is whirling the sling and getting ready to throw the stone, whirl your arm in a similar manner. When Gideon’s men kneel down to take a drink of water, kneel down in a similar fashion. By telling the story instead of reading it, you can act parts out and also maintain eye contact.
Don’t give a mechanical presentation from a memorized script. Some people have great memories and simply memorize the story and repeat it. The problem with that is the story often comes from the head and not the heart. It’s also not your story; you’re simply parroting someone else’s story. I’d rather memorize an outline of the story and fill in the details as I tell it.
Don’t use language the children don’t understand. If you use a lot of words the children don’t understand, you’ll lose their attention. I have a friend who is a computer genius, but when he talks computers he uses words and phrases that he fully understands but I don’t have a clue about. It only takes a couple of minutes and I give up trying to follow him. This also applies to words we use often in Christian circles like justification, grace, mercy, redemption, and sanctification. It’s easy to assume that children know what these words mean, but quite often they don’t. When they hear the word grace, they may think about saying grace before a meal. You can and maybe should use these words, but when you do, explain them.
Don’t include so many details that you drag out the story and hide the message. The Bible gives a fairly in-depth description of Goliath and his armor, but if you give a ten-minute telling of all the details, the children are likely to get bored and it takes time away from more important items. Give enough of a description so the children can visualize how big he was, but not so many that they get bored.
Don’t be too dependent on your notes or visuals. I’ve seen some people tell a Bible story using a series of flash card pictures; but they told it to the cards and not the children. Their whole attention was on the cards and very seldom did they look at the kids. Notes and visuals are tools to help you convey your message, but if you spend most of your time looking at them, you won’t make eye contact with the children. Also, if your story is heavily dependent on visuals, what happens if you forget them or they get damaged?