The Power Of Storytelling

Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet:

“I will speak to you in parables.

I will explain things hidden

since the creation of the world.”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”

(Matthew 13:33-36, New Living Translation)

The power of storytelling. Jesus used it every time He told a parable. The Old Testament prophets used it when they compared Israel to a vineyard that produced worthless fruit or an unfaithful wife. And it’s something God has been bringing up over and over again this summer:

  • Evangelism training gave the students a better understanding God’s story (the gospel) and how to share it with others
  • Guest speaker Tim Muehlhoff showed how to use stories and illustrations to answer objections nonbelievers have toward the gospel.
  • Sessions like “The Heart of the Artist” helped the students see that God is writing a story in each of their lives,
  • Communication training built their confidence in expressing those stories publicly

I thoroughly enjoyed coaching the students on the film team in public speaking, and I was able to sit in on a few of their training sessions on telling a story through film. They have finished writing the script for a short film and are now working on pre-production. When it’s complete, they will tour from July 28 – August 3 to show their film and 6 to 9 others in a “mini film festival” format. Student emcees Will and Marissa will guide the audience in a brief discussion of each film’s story. Will will share some of his own spiritual story, and Marissa will present God’s story – the gospel – in a way that relates to one of the films.

(To learn more about short film outreaches, go to www.globalshortfilmnetwork.com. The Global Short Film Network is a ministry strategy of The JESUS Film Project.)

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