I have been very excited lately to read about and experiment with some new ways of discipling and have hit a very exciting treasure trove with “storying” from Avery Willis and Discipleship training from Jim Putman and Real Life Ministries in Post Falls Idaho.  If you want to read along, my top recommendation so far is the book with the cover you see to the right.  I have not finished the book yet (I am a slow reader)  …. but I bought a paperback version and a kindle digital version. Get your own copy here:
So on to my experiment.  Every Wednesday we have a bible study time at worship practice and usually we have been reading the passage that Pastor Mitch will be preaching from.  Often it ends up with mostly me talking.  I’ve had a hard time getting the group to engage.  This week, with Pastor Mitch on vacation and fresh on the heals of reading some things in the book above, I thought I would try an experiment.
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Step One: Tell the Story

I told the story of Jonah as best I could remember it.

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Step Two: Notice what was extra or left out

I had the group open their Bibles and notice what was different in my telling of the story.  For example, I left out that the group cast lots to see who was at fault, that the King himself took off his robes, and sat in an ash heap, …
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Step Three: Immerse Yourself in the Story and run through it as a group

We decided to act it out, choosing one person to play God, another to play Jonah, … and we went through the whole story again
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Step Four: Ask Questions

I started with questions like : “Why is this story in the Bible?”, “What can we learn?”,  “What is God trying to tell us” and at the end, I said “What should we change this week about our behavior and can we check in on each other to see if we did it next week?”
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My team was more engaged than ever before and I had MORE interaction that I have ever had before and since the ideas for application were coming from THEM, I am confident they are much more likely to apply them than if I had come up with the applications.
In short, after just once, I am sold.
There’s lots more to say, but I recommend that you read the book and I’ll report more in the future.
Thanks Everyone!
-jason
 

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