Storytelling With

Written by Carl Greene

April 16, 2024

I can remember the scene vividly, even now, decades later. The pastor would call the children up to the front pew where there would be the usual scrambling for position. Yet, one child always had a different stride as he or she approached the front.One child carried the suitcase.Each week the pastor sent the suitcase home with a child. The following week that same child triumphantly presented the suitcase with an undisclosed item inside. With great fanfare, the pastor opened the suit-case, complimented the choice of item and described the suitcase contents in detail. (Undoubtedly buying time as he developed a story based on the item that was just revealed to him.) He cleverly used the theme he had already planned, but added the object lesson that was newly provided by the child.I think that I remember my occasional visits to this church because the stories were “with” rather than“to.” The storytelling was a partnership—it was not a monologue lecture but a captivating story that brought in the interests and literally the “stuff” of a conversation partner.That is good pedagogy. Even better communication.While I treasure the memories of this “storytelling with,” I realize that this is something I can grow into every day. Rather than inflicting my stories “to” or “at”people, how can I better dialog and engage through story? Maybe I need to figure out how to invite my conversation partners to figuratively fill my suitcase—and then take notice.

You May Also Like…

SDB Summit 2024!

SDB Summit 2024!

The 2024 SDB Summit flourished in sunny, warm South Jersey! Over 70 pastors and pastors spouses, church planters,...