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Teach with stories

Listen to this story:

Henry Ford was tenacious in his automobile inventing. After numerous setbacks and failed business ventures (including his Detroit Automobile Co., which he started in 1899 and quickly abandoned due to low quality, overly expensive vehicles), Ford broke through in 1904 with the “Ford 999.” In 1908 he released the Model T, which garnered annual sales of over $250,000 by 1914.

What can we learn from this story?  Never give up, trust in the process, believe in your purpose.  The list can go on and on, but the reality is that stories have a connection point for us.  They aren't mean to just be cute illustrations that we throw into a lesson, but rather they are to be ways that learners connect with a teachable moment.  

Jesus was a great story teller and had a great ability to invoke responses from His stories.  Some people responded with conviction, some responded with conflict, and some with courage.  The people that heard the stories were moved and could relate to the people being spoken of very intimately.  I believe one of the ways that you can show God's Word to be alive is to show how it relates to their lives today!  This can be illustrated through good stories that give points of connection.  

What are the elements of connecting stories in lessons?

1. Be creative but credible.  I heard of a pastor that one time told a far fetching story as truth, but when someone went to snopes, it proved them wrong.  This can damage your credibility.  If you know that it is a fable, then say so.  You can still use the illustration.  If the story is true, then make sure that you know the facts.  

2. Build anticipation.  Stories are great when they aren't read but when they are told.  This is true in any circumstance.  So when you have a good story to tell, try to connect to the audience as much as possible.  It will draw people in and it will make them want to know more.  This is what Jesus was great at doing, people heard his stories and were drawn in to listen to Him more.

3.. Make the point.  Many times we are left with hearing great stories but when it comes to connecting it to truth, we leave a gap in our bridge that is missing.  We are bringing about destruction in people's life if we are not connecting them to truth.  This is our responsibility as teachers.  So even though you may have the greatest story in the world, make sure that the point of truth comes across as much as the story.  Once again, the story of the good Samaritan would not have been much if truth had not been given.  It has to be a part of our teaching every week.

Find a good story illustration and share it this week in your teaching.  It will surprise you of how your teaching will be received.  


  1. You can even cheat a little and use something like!


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